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Helping Address Drug Crisis

Les Schwab Tires
Published:2024-04-17 County
Helping Address Drug Crisis    Print Snohomish Times    
Helping Address Drug Crisis

Snohomish County, Wash., April 16, 2024 – Executive Dave Somers today announced that Snohomish County is awarding a total of $77,800 to 11 organizations that provide recovery services for people experiencing opioid use disorder in Snohomish County. Supporting community-based organizations is one of the near-term strategies developed by the Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) Group in response to the Executive Directive reinvigorating the County’s response to the drug crisis. The County is using funding received from the One Washington Memorandum of Understanding (opioid settlements) for these agreements.  


“Fentanyl and other opioids are deadly, and they have a lasting impact on our loved ones and the entire community,” said Executive Somers. “In Snohomish County, we have the infrastructure and partnerships needed to address substance use disorder, and we’re acting with urgency to launch and expand local efforts. These projects will help support our community partners providing vital, life-saving recovery services to set people on a path to rebuild and thrive.”  


At 264 fatal opioid overdoses, Snohomish County lost about five people per week on average in 2023, according to preliminary data. That’s a dramatic increase from the 100 opioid-related overdoses reported just six years earlier, in 2017. The number of overdoses involving fentanyl jumped from 24 to 251. Fentanyl is now involved in nearly all opioid overdose deaths. The 2023 preliminary counts indicate there were at least 23 percent more opioid overdose deaths reported by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner, compared with 2022.


Advocates Recovery Services is one of the 11 awarded organizations. Snohomish County is providing the organization with $7,500 to support at least 15 residents with lived experience of substance use disorder to become Certified Recovery Coaches. The County funding will support participants – by providing supplies and tuition payments – in successfully completing the training to become certified.


“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to support the deepening reservoir of competency in Snohomish County’s recovery community. CCAR’s established track record of evidenced-based practices in recovery coaching dramatically altered our outlook on recovery. We are privileged to offer these scholarships to Snohomish County residents with lived experience to better serve the suffering right here at home,” said Kirk Carlson, President, Advocates Recovery Services.


Snohomish County is also awarding $4,500 to Take the Next Step to engage in mobile, community-based outreach services in East County. Outreach will focus on bringing resources, information, and service navigation to individuals who are unhoused and use opioids.


“With this funding, Take the Next Step looks forward to providing continued lifesaving resources to those who are suffering the worst impacts of substance abuse,” said Michael Lorio, Unhoused Outreach Director, Take the Next Step. “Bringing information, increased resources, and service providers to our unhoused community, in their context and circumstances, we can dramatically increase the chances of them seeking their own recovery. By reducing barriers to support, this program will have a positive impact on the entire Sky Valley community.”


A full list of awarded projects is available here. Snohomish County will be issuing a second application later this summer for an additional round of projects.


Snohomish County is committed to providing education and overdose prevention efforts throughout the county. To learn more, find treatment resources, and/or request a naloxone training, visit this website.// 

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