One Pill Can Kill


A Public Safety Response to Increased Incidents of Opioid Abuse and Overdoses

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office deploys a comprehensive approach to combatting the dire effects of opioid abuse. Specialty-trained investigators conduct fast-moving investigations seeking to stop the flow of harmful drugs into the community, holding those accountable for the lives lost and lives destroyed by drug addiction and overdoses. School Resource Officers, the Westside Interagency Narcotics Team, Washington County, and community partners incorporate ongoing prevention strategies through community outreach and education. 
 
In 2021, in response to the availability of Fentanyl as well as a marked increase in overdose deaths, the Sheriff's Office, in cooperation with local partners, created the “One Pill Can Kill” campaign to educate the public on the lethal impacts of synthetic opioids. 


To request a presentation, please visit the Community Outreach team at publicaffairs@co.washington.or.us or 503-846-2773.
 



"One Pill Can Kill" Campaign Seeks to Educate on Dangers of Fentanyl 

 

As Fentanyl continues to impact Oregon and the Metro area drastically, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office would like to highlight the dangers of Fentanyl. In an effort to bring awareness, the Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with partners from around the county to educate community members about its effects on the community. Many have been affected by what Fentanyl can do; learning a tiny amount of the synthetic opioid in your system can be deadly. Fentanyl is roughly 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

 

Working with community partners, the Sheriff’s Office offers a campaign titled "One Pill Can Kill" to provide education regarding the dangers of Fentanyl.

 

View all "One Pill Can Kill" campaign videos.
 


WCSO-One Pill Can Kill-graphic

Part One: Overview of Fentanyl

Part one gives an introduction of what Fentanyl is, which includes an interview with Washington County’s Health Officer Dr. Christina Baumann, M.D. 

Dr. Christina Baumann says, “In 2020, the western states, in particular, had the largest increases in fentanyl availability in the illegal drug market; and in our state, there was nearly a 70% increase in drug overdose deaths in compared to 2019.”

Please watch the video below where Dr. Baumann answers numerous questions about Fentanyl.


video icon  Dr. Christina Baumann video

PDF icon  Media Release

PDF icon  Media Release - Spanish


Part Two: Narcotic Task Force Team Member Discusses Current Trends

Part two focuses on the type of cases the Sheriff’s Office Westside Interagency Narcotics Team (WIN) are seeing around Washington County. The video below includes an interview with one of our narcotics investigators from the WIN team. Due to our investigators periodically working undercover, we have disguised their voice and identity. The investigator discusses the impact Fentanyl has had on WIN Team investigations, how overdose cases have changed their priorities, and how Fentanyl affects young people in Washington County. 
 

This year, the WIN team has seized more than 33,000 fraudulent pills suspected of containing Fentanyl. In 2020 they seized 14,000 fraudulent pills suspected of containing Fentanyl and just over 500 in 2019. The WIN Team has investigated 17 overdose deaths in 2021; 13 of them are suspected to be caused by Fentanyl.

2021 WIN overdose investigation victim age breakdown: 

  • Under 18: 1

  • 18-25:  8

  • Over 25: 8


video icon  Narcotics Investigator video

PDF icon  Media Release

PDF icon  Media Release - Spanish
 

Part Three: TVF&R and Metro West Discuss Responding to Fentanyl Overdoses 

highlights our partners Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue (TVF&R) and Metro West Ambulance about the calls they are responding to related to Fentanyl. This video gives insight of first-hand experiences, the usage of Naloxone (aka Narcan) and how the dangerous drug Fentanyl is affecting our community.

Recently, TVF&R and Metro West Ambulance have responded to several overdose calls where they are finding the person has taken pills laced with Fentanyl that were not prescribed by a doctor. These calls usually generate responses from partnering agencies, such as the Sheriff’s Office, to help administer Naloxone to people who are overdosing. Unfortunately, not all calls have had positive outcomes.

According to Metro West Ambulance, in the first half of 2021, they have had 74 Naloxone reversals. This does not include every overdose call as some did not reach the level of requiring the use of Naloxone. The ambulance service has also noticed that this issue is affecting not only younger people, but older adults as well, including some patients in their 70s.

video icon  TVF&R and Metro West video

PDF icon  Media Release

PDF icon  Media Release - Spanish
 

Part Four: Overcoming Addiction and Resources to Combat Fentanyl

Part four features personal testimony from someone who has fought addiction, a School Resource Officer's (SRO) insight related to Fentanyl and youth, and focuses on what we as a community can do to help address issues surrounding Fentanyl.

In the video below, we hear from Crystal Long who shares her experience of using drugs such as Fentanyl and overcoming addiction, including what advice she has for those facing similar struggles.

One of our SROs shares concerns about students getting a hold of illicit drugs and how they are working with school staff to better understand the dangers of Fentanyl.

Combatting this growing Fentanyl threat requires community awareness and engagement at every level. A commitment we can each make is to check in with our loved ones and with one another.
 

  • First, make sure that youth know not to take any prescription medication that has not been prescribed to them.

  • If you have concerns about a loved one's drug use, talk with them - share your concerns.

  • While these topics aren't always easy, one conversation could save someone's life.


video icon  Crystal's video

video icon  SRO video

PDF icon  Media Release

PDF icon  Media Release - Spanish


Below are some additional resources that can offer further support: