Washington: drug deaths outnumber traffic fatalities - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington: drug deaths outnumber traffic fatalities

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  • Washington 'a phenomenon' for pharmacy robberies

    Washington 'a phenomenon' for pharmacy robberies

    Monday, August 31 2009 8:46 PM EDT2009-09-01 00:46:00 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Following numerous Walgreens robberies in which the popular painkiller Oxycontin was targeted, the pharmacy has installed time-lock security cabinets in all of its pharmacies across Washington State. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Following numerous Walgreens robberies in which the popular painkiller Oxycontin was targeted, the pharmacy has installed time-lock security cabinets in all of its pharmacies across Washington State. Robert Elfinger, with Walgreens Media Relations, says that pharmacy robberies are 'a phenomenon in Washington' in that the state only has 120 to 130 Walgreens' pharmacies, but sees many more robberies than Texas, a state with more than 600 pharmacies.>>

OLYMPIA, Wash.- In Washington, and 15 other states, drugs now kill more people than auto accidents do. That's according to a new government study that looked at death certificates from the last three years. Experts say the startling shift reflects two opposite trends: Driving is becoming safer, and the legal and illegal use of powerful prescription painkillers is on the rise.

For decades, traffic accidents have been the biggest cause of injury-related death in the U.S., and they are still No. 1. But drug overdoses are pulling ahead in one state after another. The drug-related death rate roughly doubled from the late 1990s to 2006, according to the most recent CDC data. 

The number of states in which drug-related deaths have overtaken traffic fatalities has gone from eight in 2003 to 12 in 2005, and 16 in 2006. They are: Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. 

It's not clear why those states have seen such a shift, but experts said certain drugs may be more of a problem in some states than in others. While cocaine and heroin continue to be significant killers, most of the increase is attributed to prescription opiates such as the painkillers methadone, Oxycontin and Vicodin. 

From 1999 to 2006, death rates for such medications climbed for every age group. Deaths from methadone alone increased sevenfold, according to the CDC. It's not all black market stuff, either. About half of the opiate medication deaths in King County, Wash., which includes Seattle, involved people who got their drugs through legal prescriptions, said Caleb Banta-Green, a University of Washington research scientist. 

Using death certificate data, CDC researchers counted more than 45,000 U.S. deaths nationwide from traffic accidents in 2006, and about 39,000 from drug-induced causes.
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  • Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Coeur d'Alene Police investigating school shooting threat made on Snapchat

    Friday, October 19 2018 1:04 AM EDT2018-10-19 05:04:39 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

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    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Coeur d'Alene Police are investigating a reported school shooting threat at Coeur d'Alene High School. A spokesperson for the district said that the threat was written on a napkin and shared  on Snapchat. It says: "CHS school shooting 10-19-18. Be ready." Police tell us that while they are still investigating whether the threat is credible, they do not believe the CHS that the note mentions is referring to Coeur d'Alene High School.

    >>
  • Texas police identify woman, child in doorbell video

    Texas police identify woman, child in doorbell video

    Thursday, October 18 2018 10:50 PM EDT2018-10-19 02:50:01 GMT

    SPRING, Texas - Authorities in Texas say a woman who left a toddler alone on a stranger's doorstep could face charges of felony child endangerment.

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    SPRING, Texas - Authorities in Texas say a woman who left a toddler alone on a stranger's doorstep could face charges of felony child endangerment.

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  • Liberty Lake police searching for suspect in fatal hit-and-run investigation

    Liberty Lake police searching for suspect in fatal hit-and-run investigation

    Friday, October 19 2018 12:08 AM EDT2018-10-19 04:08:37 GMT

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - Liberty Lake Police are searching for a suspect in a fatal hit and run crash that happened Thursday morning and are asking the public for help. At around 8:15 a.m., Liberty Lake Police and Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to Country Vista Drive and East Mission Avenue for a reported hit and run crash involving a pedestrian.

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    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - Liberty Lake Police are searching for a suspect in a fatal hit and run crash that happened Thursday morning and are asking the public for help. At around 8:15 a.m., Liberty Lake Police and Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to Country Vista Drive and East Mission Avenue for a reported hit and run crash involving a pedestrian.

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