Overdose prevention and response
Public Health is addressing the opioid epidemic as we would any other health issue—working with partners to prevent overdoses, increasing access to treatment, and providing harm reduction services to reduce the health impacts for people with substance use disorder.
Visit the Public Health Insider blog for more overdose prevention articles.
Public Health is closely monitoring an increase in overdose deaths linked to fentanyl in pills and powders. See fentanyl educational materials for schools and community below:
SERVICES AND RESOURCES
- For resources on stopping overdose go to http://stopoverdose.org
- Heat safety and harm reduction guidance
Heat can be deadly, especially when combined with drug use. Stimulants like meth, cocaine, and ecstasy increase body temperature and the risk of dangerous overheating and dehydration.
- King County Secure Medicine Return
King County residents can safely dispose of the medicines they no longer need by taking them to a drop-box located throughout King County.
- Opioid Medication & Pain: What You Need to Know (PDF)
Opioids can be the right choice for treating severe pain, such as from cancer or immediately after major surgery. However, medications such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin are very powerful and can be deadly.
- Are you looking for help or treatment services? Call the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511 (open 24 hours/day)
- Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Fact Sheet
Medications are proven to work the best at treating opioid use disorder. They can manage craving and withdrawal, decrease the risk of having an overdose and can provide stability, allowing you to address other things in your life.
- Find medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder
A resource locator to find local clinics and programs that use evidence-based treatments to treat opioid use disorder.
- Find withdrawal management (detox) services
Detox is a medically supervised service, not formal treatment, with the goal of safely ensuring that people are stable coming off of alcohol or drug(s). Once medical stability is established, the transition to appropriate ongoing care can begin. Detox length of stay is based on medical necessity, but usually lasts tree to five days.
- Learn About Treatment
This page is a resource for the community, people with a substance use disorder and their friends and family, and healthcare providers to learn more about treatment. The goal of the page is to provide education so more people can find the treatment that will work best for them.
- King County Needle Exchange
Needle exchange programs provide new, sterile syringes and clean injection equipment in exchange for used, contaminated syringes. They also get drug users into drug treatment and health care.
- Find naloxone in Washington state
There are several ways to get naloxone in Washington state through prescriptions, directly through pharmacies and syringe exchange and community programs.
- Emergency Dept. Naloxone Distribution
The first steps to setting up a community overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) program is to understand the local policies and regulations about standing orders, third party prescribing, collaborative practice agreements, Good Samaritan laws, and provider medication distribution.
- Naloxone prescribing practice guidelines
Information for clinicians and pharmacists to identify who should get naloxone, how to recognize and respond to an overdose and other recommendations.
- Distributing opioid overdose reversal medications (2SSB 5195)
2SSB 5195 helps to increase access to naloxone for all individuals at risk of an opioid overdose. The law requires hospital emergency departments (EDs) and many certified and licensed behavioral health settings to distribute prepackaged naloxone to individuals at risk of an opioid overdose.
- The Good Samaritan Law
Center for Opioid Safety Education – overview of the legal protections in Washington State for overdose victims and responders.
- Fatal overdose dashboard
Drug and alcohol-caused deaths investigated by the King County Medical Examiner's Office (MEO) are described in the 2018 Overdose Death Report (PDF) and the Overdose Dashboard linked above.
- Non-fatal overdose dashboard
This dashboard presents information about probable opioid overdoses treated by King County Emergency Medical Services agencies and Emergency Departments.
- 2018 Overdose Death Report
The King County Medical Examiner's Office (MEO) investigates deaths that occur in King County that are unexpected, sudden, violent, suspicious, and/or lack a known cause. Drug overdose deaths typically meet at least one of these criteria and are thus investigated by the MEO.
- Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force 2018 Year End Summary
- 2021 HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Report
In 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plan, which includes jurisdictions most impacted by HIV, including King County. This 2021 report – which includes data through the end of 2020 – is the second to be structured according to each of the four pillars of EHE: 1) Diagnose; 2) Treat; 3) Prevent, and 4) Respond.
- Reports from the Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) at University of Washington
- Buprenorphine Pathways evaluation
- Distribution of Safer Drug Smoking Supplies as a Public Health Strategy (PDF)
This brief describes the current landscape of safer smoking equipment distribution in Washington State and nationally, the evidence supporting this intervention, legal issues, and areas for further research.
- King County Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force: Final Report & Recommendations
This report provides a summary of the group’s recommendations to both prevent opioid addiction and improve opioid use disorder outcomes in King County.
- 2021-2022 Washington State Opioid Response Plan
The 2021-2022 Washington State Opioid and Overdose Response Plan is an update to the 2018 Washington State Opioid Response Plan and reflects necessary changes to establish a flexible planning structure that can address substance use needs as they evolve and emerge.
- Washington State Executive Order 16-09 - Addressing the Opioid Use Public Health Crisis
A directive from Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee to direct state agencies under his authority to implement the state opioid response plan with an immediate focus on its highest priority actions.
- Safety First: Real Drug Education for Teens, Drug Policy Alliance
A harm reduction-based drug education curriculum for high school students. The free curriculum consists of 15 lessons that can be completed in a 45- to 50-minute class period.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, National Institute on Drug Abuse
Resources for teens, teachers, and parents about drug use, addiction, and treatment.
- Fentanyl warning for parents and students, Public Health – Seattle & King County
A letter for schools to send out to students and parents about the recent increase in overdose deaths in King County due to fentanyl.
- Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders, SAMHSA
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness, research shows that family support can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders.
- Fentanyl Toolkit for Service Providers
- Opioid prescribing rules
The Washington State Legislature passed a law in 2017 that focuses on improving opioid prescribing. and on monitoring. The law requires five healthcare professional boards and commissions to adopt new rules for prescribing opioid drugs.
- Patient Pain Management Resources
The Guideline is not intended to deny any patients who suffer with chronic pain from opioid therapy as an option for pain management. Rather, the Guideline is intended to ensure that clinicians and patients consider all safe and effective treatment options for patients.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
- Washington Recovery Help Line
Find treatment services nearest you and speak with professionals about getting help with substance use, problem gambling, and/or mental health challenge.
- Get the facts, Washington Health Care Authority
Find out why opioids are so addictive, and where you can go for help.
- The Good Samaritan Law, Center for Opioid Safety Education – overview of the legal protections in Washington State for overdose victims and responders.
- stopoverdose.org, Center for Community Engaged Drug Education, Epidemiology, & Research
The Center for Community Engaged Drug Education, Epidemiology, & Research at the University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute offers education and technical assistance for individuals, professionals, and communities in Washington State who want to learn how to prevent and intervene in opioid addiction and overdose.
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, King County Dept. of Community and Human Services
Ensuring that people with mental health and substance use disorders receive the inpatient, outpatient and other services they need.
- Washington State Department of Health: Opioids
Implementing the State Opioid Response Plan and provides resources for providers and researchers
- Washington State Poison Center
Provides immediate, free, and expert treatment advice and assistance on the telephone in case of exposure to poisonous, hazardous, or toxic substances.
- Hepatitis C facts, Public Health — Seattle & King County
Includes a description about Hepatitis C with resources for the general public and health care providers.
Free printed copies of posters, postcards and stickers in English an Spanish.
- Access an online ordering form
Printed materials can only be mailed to street addresses in King County, WA. If you are not in King County, you can download and print the materials below.
11" x 17" poster
Don't be faked out.
11" x 17" poster
Narcan saves lives
3 Naloxone stickers
(PDF samples only: Use the order form above to order professionally-printed stickers)