Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a public emergency in response to the rise in youth violence and opioid overdoses. Opioid deaths are prevalent among Black men and residents in the city’s east and southeast wards.
The emergency declaration, which takes immediate effect, improves internal data-sharing between city agencies, enabling teams to respond more effectively and track non-fatal overdose information.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid drug, is similar to morphine and heroin but is 50 to 100 times more potent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The mayor’s office said in a statement, “Although each of these urgent situations are, to some extent, geographically concentrated, the nature of the two emergencies demands city-wide responses.”