King County's drug and alcohol deaths rose 9.5% in 2018


The use of drugs and alcohol caused the death of 415 residents in King County in 2018, compared with 379 in 2017, according to two new reports published today by Public Health – Seattle & King County and the Institute of alcohol and drug abuse at the University of Washington.

Data from 2018 Report of death from overdose describes drug and alcohol deaths caused by the King's coroner's office. The office reported that in 2018, 77% of drug and alcohol deaths involved more substances. Over the past few years, prescription opioid overdoses and heroin have remained stable while overdoses of illegally produced methamphetamine and fentanyl compounds have increased.

Heroin and opioids, including fentanyl, continue to be the most common drugs associated with fatal overdoses (67%), while deaths involving methamphetamine continued to rise sharply at an alarming rate.

L & # 39; Annual Report on drug trendsAlso published today by the UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, it provides a context on the changing nature of the impact of drugs in our community.

Report results include:

  • While opioids are the most common class of drugs in fatal overdoses, most overdoses involve multiple types of drugs. Deaths involving both an opiate and a stimulant, such as cocaine or methamphetamine, increased from 45 in 2009 to 130 in 2018.
  • Methamphetamine-related deaths have increased significantly over the past decade, from 21 2009 to 163 2018.
  • In 2018, deaths involved in fentanyl doubled the total in 2017. This appears to be mainly due to illicitly produced fentanyl.
  • Overdose disproportionately affects men and 16% of overdose cases are among people who have homelessness problems.
  • The estimated rate of drug and alcohol deaths was 22% higher among blacks and four times higher among Indian / Alaskan Native Americans than non-Hispanic whites.
  • The tendency to increase the fentanyl-related compounds involved in deaths reflects the results of local police evidence tests.
  • The use of drugs to reduce opioid use disorder is increasing substantially throughout the county.
  • Syringe exchanges continue to expand the services offered, including drugs for opioid use disorder and the number of syringes distributed, up from 7.1 million in 2017 to 7.9 million in 2018.
  • Seattle wastewater tests continue to indicate one of the highest methamphetamine levels measured, compared to 96 other cities in 26 countries.

Providing access to drug-assisted treatment is the most important way to help those at risk of a fatal opioid overdose. Throughout our region, access to low-barrier treatment such as buprenorphine has improved. There are now more than 100 locations in King County where people can receive drugs for opioid use disorder.

Distribution of the overdose of naloxone and trend reversal: in the last two years, King County has increased access to naloxone among law enforcement officials, treatment providers and directly citizens through sites of needle exchange. In 2018, more than 20,000 naloxone kits were distributed and, according to reports, at least 2,235 cases of overdose were reversed using naloxone. (The total is probably higher.)

What you can do to reduce the risk of overdose in our community:

  • If someone is overdosed, call 911. If you are trying to help in case of an overdose, the "Good Samaritan" Washington state law protects you and the overdose victim from drug possession charges.
  • Transport naloxone, the drug to reverse an opioid overdose. Visit for places that provide naloxone.
  • Get rid of unused or expired drugs. Find a personal box near you.
  • If you are concerned about the use of substances by friends or a family member, the Recovery hotline it is a good starting point. Drugs are available in the community that can reduce the risk of overdose in half and treat stimuli and cravings. Call the 24-hour help line: 866.789.1511.

Quotations from interested parties:

  • "Drug and alcohol related overdoses represent a serious public health problem. While we work to provide access to critical treatments to prevent overdose death, we must also continue to work upstream to address the drivers of the drug." substance abuse, including adverse childhood experiences, trauma, poverty, racism, discrimination and homelessness "- Dr. Jeff Duchin, public health officer – Seattle and King County
  • "We are working to provide access to treatment resources in non-traditional contexts to meet the people where they are. In the last year, we have doubled the number of places where people can access support and assistance. access to resources in hospitals, needle exchanges, prisons and the community, we hope to provide even more access to care for vulnerable and overdose-prone people. "- Brad Finegood, strategic advisor for public health – Seattle & King County
  • "We have to recognize that people continue to use drugs like methamphetamine because, in the context of their lives, drugs provide a way to manage the challenges they face every day. Medications can serve as appetite suppressants when people don't they can afford food, or reduce the negative effects of past and current traumas by providing a temporary boost to dopamine to make someone feel good.Some of the solutions we need to pursue include improving the circumstances of people's lives and access to services global ". – Caleb Banta-Green, principal researcher at the Institute for Alcohol and Drug Abuse UW

Relevant links:

(tagToTranslate) University of Washington (t) UW Medicine (t) medicine (t) university (t) drug abuse (t) alcohol abuse (t) death (t) India (t) Washington (t) America (t) methamphetamine (t) homeless (t) resources (t) community (t) research (t) American (t) Health


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.