Gov. Inslee lays out plan for Washington opioid crisis

Dec 17, 2018, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:49 pm
Jay Inslee...

Governor Jay Inslee announced his policy and budget priorities related to Washington state’s opioid crisis on Monday afternoon.

RELATED: Gov. Inslee proposes $1.1 billion budget to aid orcas

Opioid deaths are currently the leading cause of accidental deaths in Washington. To that end, the governor’s proposed 2019-21 budget calls for $10.7 million for prevention, and an additional $19.3 million for treatment and recovery efforts.

Inslee laid out the state’s plan in a press conference Monday afternoon, with proposals for measures like a 16-bed facility for pregnant women and mothers so they can live with their children while receiving treatment, and a new “Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion” program outside of King County.

Additionally, Inslee’s budget would establish a statewide “hub-and spoke opioid treatment network,” that includes treatment programs, nurse care managers embedded with medical practices and jails, and facility hubs where staff can prescribe addiction treatment drugs.

This comes on the heels of recent data from the Washington State Department of Health, that reported deaths related to fentanyl overdoses were up nearly 70 percent over last year.

Fentanyl is currently found in counterfeit pills made to look like prescription opiates like oxycodone. The risk comes from the fact that fentanyl is anywhere from 30 to 50 times as strong as pure heroin, and “a dose the size of a few grains of salt can be fatal to an average-size person.”

The reasoning for dealers and illicit importers is simple: Profit.

“It’s much more efficient to ship in fentanyl than it is to ship in heroin. Fentanyl is 30 times more potent than heroin — that means to get the same number of people high, you only have to ship in one-thirtieth the amount,” Caleb Banta-Green, the principle research scientist at UW’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, told MyNorthwest when the report was released in early-December.

Inslee’s proposed state budget would be for $54.4 billion, for what would be approximately a 20 percent total increase. It also includes funding for the recovery of the state’s endangered orca population, combating climate change, shuffling Washington’s mental health system, and more.

RELATED: 70 percent increase in fentanyl deaths doesn’t tell whole story

Local News

Climate Pledge Arena...
Associated Press

Climate Pledge Arena ready to get Kraken for hockey debut

The first event ever inside Climate Pledge Arena — whether it will be considered the official first event or not — was far from a soft opening.
22 hours ago
shipping containers...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Approximately 40 shipping containers adrift off Washington coast

Approximately 40 shipping containers were lost off a ship 43 miles west of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, according to the United States Coast Guard.
22 hours ago
Kathryn Altena

Gov. Inslee, Washington groups prepare to welcome Afghan refugees

In the coming months, 1,400 Afghan refugees are expected to pass through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport upon their arrival in Washington.
22 hours ago
King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski...
Nick Bowman

King County Councilmember accused of history of ‘verbally abusive’ behavior toward female staff

King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski is facing accusations detailing a history of verbally abusive behavior toward female staff members.
22 hours ago
Microsoft campus, vaccine...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Racial harassment allegations at Microsoft campus construction site in Redmond

Racial harassment on the job — that’s what a Black construction employee says he was dealing with for months at the build site on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond.
22 hours ago
Jaime Herrera Beutler...
Nick Bowman

Washington Rep. Herrera Beutler breaks from GOP party line again over Bannon contempt vote

Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler was among nine Republicans who voted in favor of holding Steve Bannon in contempt on Thursday.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Gov. Inslee lays out plan for Washington opioid crisis