Gov. Inslee proposes to spend $82 million from opioid settlement on new fentanyl treatment centers

Dec 5, 2023, 8:04 AM

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Governor Inslee is proposing our state spend the $82 million settlement with opioid manufacturers on new walk-in treatment centers intended to help save lives from fentanyl use.

Monday, he hosted a drug abuse roundtable in Everett with police, paramedics, politicians, and recovering users.

Among the many experts who gave the governor details about possible solutions is Dr. Caleb Banta Green, an expert on opioid abuse and recovery, and he said police and paramedics would, in theory, divert users from jail into health engagement hubs. The concept here is a place where people could walk in and get medication to get off the fentanyl-meth cycle and they would start treatment on the spot.

“These treatment medications both support recovery by getting a person off the roller coaster of fentanyl use just into a steady place on a medication you take once a day or once a month,” said Green. “That supports recovery it gets you out of the chaos, it helps that person and it helps the community because their chaos impacts chaos in the community. So this idea of community engagement hubs could be transformative. It is the best chance we have to do something meaningful.”

And the governor echoed that. KIRO 7 went through the proposal and saw the governor is proposing opening two new community engagement hubs right away and two more within the next four years.

Fifteen years ago very few people were even using, or even hearing of fentanyl. There has been an intense spike in just the last two years.

And Alaska Native and Native Americans nearly quadruple our state’s death rate from fentanyl.

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Gov. Inslee proposes to spend $82 million from opioid settlement on new fentanyl treatment centers