The multi-agency team will be tasked with developing plans to reduce drug-related deaths and reduce the number of people with substance use disorders.
SNOHOMISH DISTRICT, Wash. — Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers launched a new plan on Thursday to address the effects of the drug crisis on people and businesses.
Somers’ plan includes an executive directive and a spending plan for the county’s $1.4 million opioid payment that will go to Snohomish County Council. In a release, Somers said the spending plan would focus on a community-focused response to the crisis.
An executive directive will be issued to the Department of Emergency Management directing the department to convene the Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC), which will organize various agencies including Fire/EMS resources, service housing and human services, public health and health services, public safety, and other regional partners in an effort to address the county’s drug crisis.
The MAC Corporation will be responsible for creating a list of goals, plans to reduce drug-related deaths and mitigate the impact of the crisis on property and public safety, as well as strategies for reducing drug-related deaths. long-term strategy to reduce the number of people with substance use disorders in the county.
The team’s work will be evaluated and approved by the new Disaster Policy Team led by Somers and the heads of affected agencies.
Somers’ spending proposal for a portion of the county’s opioid settlement money is divided into two distinct phases.
In the first phase, Somers proposed that the county spend approximately $670,000 focusing on immediate actions and building infrastructure for future phases of the drug crisis. This will include expanding the county’s First Response Left Behind Program by making naloxone easier to fight fires and EMS, and funding community-based organizations looking to find ways. expand opioid-related efforts at the grassroots level and strengthen education efforts.
Phase two will include a total of $800,000 dedicated to long-term proposals, potentially including school-based education to reduce youth substance use disorders and create a resource mobile force to provide drug treatment and/or counseling to individuals with substance use disorders throughout the county.
The county will receive a total of about $14 million from agreements with drug companies for their role in the opioid crisis. The county also anticipates that there will be future settlements related to the crisis that will spur funding.
Somers, who lost his brother to a fentanyl overdose this year, said policy debates around the drug crisis can often overlook the real human pain at the heart of the problem. .
Somers said: “In Snohomish County, we have built the infrastructure to address substance use disorders, and this plan is crucial to advancing our efforts locally. “Ultimately, we need an influx of state and federal money to address the complex issues facing individuals, communities, and businesses because of this drug crisis. We must. much more before losing more loved ones.”
In 2022, the county lost 284 people to a fatal drug overdose. Between 2017 and 2022, the number of overdoses more than doubled in the county. The number of fentanyl-related overdoses increased eightfold. The county exceeded 80 overdose cases by 2023, with more than half related to fentanyl.
On Wednesday, seven inmates at the Snohomish County Jail in Everett were taken to the hospital on suspicion of an opioid overdose. All seven people were injected with Narcan at the scene and are expected to recover.