US Sen Candidate Garcia Praises Spokane’s Action on Fentanyl

City’s Emergency Declaration “Recognizes the Severity of this Crisis”

Spokane – Dr. Raul Garcia, an Emergency Room doctor and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, says Spokane’s decision to declare an emergency over fentanyl is a necessary step to provide more resources, and bring more attention, to the crisis.

Earlier this month the City of Spokane enacted a citywide emergency over the fentanyl crisis.

Garcia, who has put the fentanyl crisis at the center of his campaign, said Thursday during a visit to Spokane that the city’s bipartisan action can serve as a model and call to action for local, state and federal governments.

“In 26 years as an ER doctor, I’ve never seen a killer like fentanyl,” he said. “We see at least two overdoses every single shift. It is devastating lives, families, communities all across Washington, unlike any other drug before.

“We have to take drastic action if we’re going to beat fentanyl. Too many people are losing loved ones to this deadly drug. It is literally an emergency, which is why actions like Spokane’s are so important.”

Garcia, who has researched drug laws that have been effective in other countries, is working on federal legislation that would include felony charges with mandatory prison time for fentanyl dealers, and the ability to require involuntary treatment and recovery programs for addicts.

“When a person is in the grips of fentanyl addiction, it takes over them completely,” said Garcia. “If it doesn’t kill them first, it makes them only want more. In order to truly help fentanyl addicts, we absolutely need to be able to give them the support and care they are incapable of getting for themselves.”

Garcia said that based on his experience with addiction and what he’s learned from talking with experts in rehabilitation and recovery, involuntary treatment is key.

He said that while the federal government is finally taking some action against fentanyl, it’s not nearly enough.

“We have to treat this like the emergency it is, with a combination of toughness and compassion,” he said. “And we can only be successful if we put aside divisive party politics and work together to save our people and our communities.”