As deadly overdoses decline, Snohomish County builds on what’s working

  • Date: 06/14/2024

Opioid overdose deaths have been trending down nationwide — and in Snohomish County — since winter. Meanwhile, the county’s opioid crisis response is only growing.

From 2019 to 2023, opioid-related deaths in Snohomish County increased 355%. Opioids caused 269 out of 334 overdose deaths last year, an all-time high. The powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl has powered the rise, causing 95% of those deaths.

Resources also need to reach East Snohomish County, as overdose rates are disproportionately high in rural areas, said Abi Sauer, another healthy community specialist on the prevention team.

The county plans to hire and train outreach teams who are “culturally relevant” to residents, Smith said, and strengthen partnerships with local agencies to reach those “disproportionately affected and historically underserved.”

The team is also working on a multicultural communications campaign and a new peer support program. The county is planning two free events, June 26 in Darrington and June 27 in Monroe, about reversing substance use disorder stigma. Those who attend at least one event are then invited to a peer training on June 27 in Everett.

Ideal Option, a nationwide network of recovery clinics, just launched a free shuttle for appointments between Index and Monroe. The provider is now working with the county on another transportation pilot for rural residents

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