(Hanna Scott / KIRO Radio)
The number of overdose cases in Snohomish County associated with opioids during the seven-day census this year has nearly doubled since last year.
There were 57 this year compared to 37 last year, including 12 in one day.
Mark Beatty, Snohomish District Health Commissioner, says that the reason for the increase in overdose is partly due to this. But also the fight against prescription opioids is a driving factor.
"Much of the effort has been focused on reducing the number of opioid prescriptions issued," Beatty said. "Our medical community and the general public, however, have responded to those struggling with opioid dependence, tightening guidelines on new opioid prescriptions have urged them to try heroin." The seven-day data showed that at least 61
And then there's the fentanyl factor.
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"Overall data show deaths from fentanyl are significantly increased." In recent months, we have had patients who have survived an overdose "Beatty said. "But the number of those who said they suspected they took fake pills … has risen dramatically."
Overdose deaths were reduced to two this year. Last year, there were three deaths during the count. Beatty says a big reason for this is pushing the county and health districts to make the overdose-reversal drug Naloxone as much as possible.
Forty people who overdosed during the count were rescued by Naloxone. That includes seven to whom Naloxone was given by friends, family or spectators who wear it.
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, chairman of the Snohomish district health department, says the overall goal is to help people escape addiction. For those who find it wasteful to use all these resources to help people get off the street and / or drugs, she says that people would not say that if they knew someone who was Addiction suffers.
"These are the people [family members] and I think if people think so, they may not think that life is so expendable," she said.
Of the 57 people who were over-dosed during the count, 33 percent were homeless, which means the rest had some sort of shelter. County executive Dave Somers says that's saying.
"These two groups are very different in terms of their needs," he said.
So, what do you do with all this information from the seven-day count? Dr. Beatty says it's really about making sure they use the resources they have in the right way.
This is where the Multi-Agency Coordination Group comes in. It includes all major agencies, non-profit organizations and other service providers involved in the opioid crisis. coordinate their reaction.
"I think we're making headway," Beatty said. "It may not have been shown in the numbers, but it takes time for these things to really start to make an impact."