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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Federal, local law enforcement warn of surge in illicit opioid trade in Spokane

Fentanly seizures in Eastern Washington have increased nearly 200% this year, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday. Pills are being sold on Spokane's streets with lethal dosages of the synthetic opioid that follow prescription painkillers and heroin as the next major, dangerous obstacle in the nation's effort to reduce overdose deaths. 

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead to 3 criminal charges

Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, the powerful prescription painkiller that experts say helped touch off an opioid epidemic, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges as part of a settlement of more than $8 billion, Justice Department officials announced Wednesday.

William P. Barr: Congress is dragging its feet on fentanyl

While the political circus drags on inside the Beltway, Congress is sitting on critical legislation needed to deal with the deadliest opioid fueling the nation’s drug overdose crisis. During the last few years of the Obama administration, drug overdose deaths began skyrocketing and have climbed steeply to more than 70,000 a year – more Americans than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. The surge is now being driven by an especially deadly synthetic opioid called fentanyl. As much as 80 times more powerful than heroin, only a few grains of this chemical compound are enough to cause a fatal overdose.

Spokane City Council agrees to pursue legal action against manufacturers of opioid painkillers

Lawmakers asked the city’s legal team last year to explore litigation against the makers of OxyContin and other prescription painkillers, cited as the major source of the country’s opioid crisis. The contract with a Seattle law firm to pursue legal action follows a request by the City Council for city attorneys to take another look at joining in the wake of one of the manufacturers announcing a multibillion dollar settlement.

UC Davis researchers develop breath test for opioids — and aim to make it smaller, faster

Cristina Davis, chair of UC Davis’ Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, said that she has been working with Drs. Michael Schivo and Nicholas Kenyon for about 15 years to find the best method to analyze human breaths, and they now have achieved it. The UCD research team published a paper on their findings Thursday in the Journal of Breath Research.

Watchdog finds DEA was ‘slow to respond’ to opioid epidemic

The Drug Enforcement Administration was “slow to respond” as America grappled with a rising opioid epidemic, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Tuesday that faulted the agency for cutting back use of a key enforcement tool and continuing to raise production quotas even as the number of deaths rose.