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How Did Everett, WA’s Drug Epidemic Start and How Can You Get Help?

I recently read an article about a women living in Everett, Washington. A homeless drug addict, Shandell Orr, on the brink of suicide, she was helped by a program run out of the sheriff’s department. She is now doing much better in life. But she is just one of many who were trapped in the opioid epidemic intentionally started in Everett with the express purpose of getting people onto and hooked on drugs. With the emphasis on one drug – OxyContin, the prescription painkiller.

How did Everett’s problem start?

A guy named Jevon Lawson, nicknamed Goldie, currently serving a prison sentence, hooked up with big time drug dealers after years of selling crack outside a 7-Eleven. I don’t know how he managed this connection to ‘the big time’, but suddenly he gave up selling crack, bought and moved into a $400,000 house. The current average house price in Everett is under $300,000 and Lawson bought  his house nearly 10 years ago, so $400,000 represented a lot more house than it does today in areas like Everett.

He also started driving a Humvee, got a record label rolling – starring himself – and was soon wearing an oddly shaped diamond necklace. A pendant. Roughly shaped like the states of California, Oregon and Washington, the diamond-studded piece boasted a green line going from LA to Everett. And line represents the road travelled from LA to Everett with drugs that would be sold in Everett, and the green represents the money that Lawson made selling these drugs and used to buy his house, his humvee,  his necklace, and his other displays of wealth.

The money came from OxyContin. He started a huge epidemic, caused many ruined lives and a lot of deaths.

But Lawson didn’t care about that – as his callous display of his diamond necklace makes clear. He just cared about the money. It’s probably all been confiscated at this point so, unless he turns back to dealing drugs, chances of him ever seeing days like that are gone.

In the meantime, despite the fact that he’s in prison, the epidemic continues. And the streets are filled with people in the same position Shandell Orr was in – addicted, lost her home, lost her family, and already had it planned exactly where she would be standing when she jumped off a local bridge to her death.

Thankfully, Shandell made it. Many will not.

Everett is there is to help. Governor Jay Inslee recently signed an executive order to fight heroin and prescription drug abuse. Contact his office to see what help is available.

We can help as well. Give us a call to find out how you can get help for yourself or someone you care about – before it’s too late.

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