King County executive announces ‘multi-part strategy’ addressing fentanyl crisis

Mar 4, 2024, 5:14 PM

A bag of 4-fluoro isobutyryl fentanyl, which was seized in a drug raid, is displayed at the Drug En...

A bag of 4-fluoro isobutyryl fentanyl, which was seized in a drug raid, is displayed at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Testing and Research Laboratory in Sterling, Virginia, Aug. 9, 2016. (File photo: Cliff Owen, AP)

(File photo: Cliff Owen, AP)

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a new strategy on Monday to tackle the surge in fentanyl overdoses.

Expanding residential treatment, a 24/7 buprenorphine prescribing line, new mobile crisis teams, a permanent sobering center, and more naloxone and testing strips are all included in the multi-part strategy, according to a news release from King County.

More on fentanyl: Bill proposing child removal from homes with fentanyl sparks charged debate

“Substance use disorder is complex, and there is not one single cause, nor one simple solution. That’s why King County is connecting people to treatment and lifesaving interventions that are proven to work, and clear paths to recovery for all,” said Constantine. “There is so much more to do, which is why King County is also working upstream to help prevent substance use disorder, inform and educate the community, elevate early intervention strategies, and provide services and treatment for anyone who needs it.”

The Department of Community and Human Services is working with Seattle and King County to address the fentanyl crisis.

The top five priorities for tackling the fentanyl crisis

Constantine said the No. 1 priority is “treatment and community-based, recovery-focused care for all.”

The second priority is behavioral health beds and facilities and the third is overdose medication and fentanyl testing. The fourth is a diverse behavioral health workforce and lastly reduced disproportionality in overdoses.

Constantine claims the county will add new facilities, new mobile and outreach teams and create more accessible naloxone and testing strips.

Currently, people can seek help at the Pioneer Human Services co-occurring facility in South Seattle. There is also the post-overdose recovery center in downtown Seattle.

“We know treatment works, and by prioritizing access to treatment, King County is leading with science, expertise, and compassion,” said Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. “The plan outlined today does all of that and will produce tangible results which is why I’m proud to be partnering with the executive and my fellow councilmembers today.”

King County distributed over 100,000 fentanyl testing strips

Latest news: Lynnwood man charged in death of 27-year-old Wash. State Patrol Trooper

In 2023, King County worked with over 30,000 people through the MIDD Behavioral Health Sales Tax Fund. Over 13,000 people received medications for opioid use disorder. The county also distributed over 45,000 naloxone kits and over 100,000 fentanyl test strips, according to the release.

King County said the new strategy is being funded by “existing resources, including MIDD Behavioral Health Sales Tax, Crisis Care Centers Initiative, Medicaid, commercial insurance, and state and federal funds.”

Julia Dallas is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read her stories here. Follow Julia on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email her here.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: The Kent refugee camp on June 3, 2024....

Sam Campbell

‘Food is finished:’ Refugees in Kent call for help as health, food struggles remain

About 170 asylum-seeking refugees living at a camp in Kent have been moved into temporary housing over the course of a week.

4 hours ago

Image: A sign for a Big Lots store can be seen from outside the location June 7, 2024 in Hercules, ...

Steve Coogan

Big Lots to close 12 stores in Washington, about 140 nationwide

Discount retailer Big plans to close over 140 stores nationwide, including 12 out of 26 locations in the state of Washington.

5 hours ago

Image: Matt Driscoll, a columnist for The News Tribune, died suddenly at the age of 43 in July 2024...

Bill Kaczaraba

Columnist Matt Driscoll, the face of ‘Tacoma and Pierce County,’ dies at 43

Matt Driscoll, a fixture in the Tacoma newspaper community, has died. A columnist and opinion editor for the Tacoma News Tribune (TNT), Driscoll was 43 years old. “The humor, the witty banter, and wry observations are what brought us together,” Matt Driscoll’s wife Jennifer Driscoll told The Tacoma News Tribune. “We really clicked in that […]

7 hours ago

Tacoma woman refused TB treatment...

Julia Dallas

Tacoma woman who refused tuberculosis treatment now healthy: ‘She’s cured!’

A Tacoma woman who refused TB treatment for months last year is now healthy. Health officials announced she is officially "cured."

8 hours ago

Commercial truck narrowly misses oncoming traffic in Bellevue....

Bill Kaczaraba

Watch: Wild ride from commercial truck driver leaves Bellevue drivers holding their breath

It was a close call at Main Street and 112 Street Northeast in Bellevue Tuesday morning, leaving Bellevue drivers feeling lucky they were not hit.

9 hours ago

lea hill shooting...

Luke Duecy

1 injured as shooting erupts in Auburn’s Lea Hill neighborhood; arrest made

The Auburn Police Department is investigating a shooting early Tuesday in the city's Lea Hill neighborhood that left one woman injured.

12 hours ago

King County executive announces ‘multi-part strategy’ addressing fentanyl crisis