'We are in dark times'

Reeling from Four Overdose Deaths in Four Days, Lummi Nation Calls for Urgent Action


September 26, 2023

Lummi Chairman Anthony Hillaire with Councilman William Jones, Jim Washington, and Nickolaus Lewis addressed the community on Thursday, September 21 in the aftermath of a rash of deadly overdoses. (photo/screenshot)

Early last week, Evelyn Jefferson (Lummi) was hanging doses of Narcan - the life-saving opioid reversal drug - from trees in a homeless encampment in Bellingham, Washington, near the Lummi Nation.

Jefferson, a crisis outreach supervisor for Lummi Nation, spends much of her time these days supporting tribal members who live in the homeless encampment and use opioids. She distributes fentanyl testing strips and Narcan; treats wounds; transports them to doctor's appointments and treatment; and responds to overdoses.

She and her team were on high alert. A few weeks earlier, authorities had seized 70,000 fentanyl pills at the encampment. With the elevated risk of overdoses, Jefferson and others hung the Narcan nasal spray canisters from the trees in hopes that people would stock up and use it, if necessary.



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