Kalispell MT: Fentanyl Overdose at Flathead Warming Center/Multiple Under Influence

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Fentanyl is now an everyday word in Flathead County and unfortunately, on April 17th a young woman nearly died at the Flathead Warming Center from a Fentanyl overdose. What is highly concerning is that on the same night “a few were going in and out of the bathroom” (as well as the woman) and the volunteer also states that she could also tell “who was high tonight”.

The volunteer is thrilled that the young woman’s life was spared (and yes we thank God for that as well).

The issue is multi-faceted. Drug addiction is a very heavy burden for all involved. Were the ‘volunteers’ on shift that evening at FWC really equipped to deal with such seriousness and trauma? Centers and shelters who drug and urine test their ‘guests’ do so for multiple reasons one being the safety of the staff and volunteers. Another reason is quite clear-if folks are found with drug/alcohol laced blood they will work harder at getting off these substances if they know the reward is a warm, clean, dry, safe place to stay and receive help.

When drug/urine tests aren’t required often times we see the continual cycle of addiction over and over as it becomes a dog chasing its own tale. When there are requirements the drive to “strive” for sobriety in many cases becomes stronger.

This particular evening at the Flathead Warming Center could have ended in death and the death of multiple people by the sounds of it. (read what the Flathead Warming Center volunteer had to say below).

When and how does the cycle of this magnitude of drug addiction end?

When people are tested for drugs it gives incentive to continue to try to get clean. We are thankful this young lady’s life was spared but we desperately want to see this center drop the ‘Low Barrier Shelter’ status is hopes of requiring mandatory drug and alcohol testing with more stringent accountability as the ‘guests’ work towards sobriety. When a facility offers too many perks without true accountability such ‘guests’ will do as they please and to their demise such as what occurred on the evening of April 17th.

Additionally, a Walgreens worker chimed in with the following,

“Scary! We are having od’s often in the bathrooms at Walgreens. It’s become almost a daily thing for people to smoke meth and other things in our bathrooms. Someone was shooting up today and left blood all over. Needles stuffed in drains and the feminine trash boxes. They keep the bathrooms open. So dangerous to not only the employees but our customers. I almost walked out and quit my job. I’m so sick of all the drugs! It’s so bad everywhere!”

How scary is right. What happened the evening of April 17th at the FWC is the stuff best suited for ER rooms with highly skilled professionals. Individuals drowning in addiction must take those most important first steps toward freedom. Their very lives depend on it.

[Publishers Note: I have taken highly needy single/ill mothers with babies, toddlers, and young children into my home for years, helped A Ray of Hope homeless shelter for close to a decade and dealt with numerous people steeped in addiction who walked victoriously in sobriety as a result of the program entitled ‘Teen Challenge’-Therefore I am writing these things from years of experience having dealt with those in need and addiction.]

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