Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced on Wednesday 8/30/23 a set of overall goals and strategies to address the impacts of the drug use crisis on Snohomish County. In an innovative approach to addressing the drug crisis, these plans were developed in partnership with different County departments, including local elected officials, service providers, and emergency response partners as part of the Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC Group).
The MAC group is comprised of representatives from Fire/EMS, housing and human services, public health and medical services, and public safety, among other key regional partners,
The May 2023 Executive Directive issued by Executive Somers set an aggressive timeline for developing and implementing strategies to address the drug use crisis:
- Within 30 days of the receipt of the Directive, the MAC Group must submit an updated list of goals for consideration and approval;
- Within 90 days of the approval of new goals, the MAC Group must develop and submit immediate strategies to reduce the number of drug-related deaths and mitigate impacts to property and public safety; and
- Within 180 days of the approval of new goals, the MAC Group must develop and submit both mid and long-term strategies to reduce the number of individuals suffering from substance use disorder.
“I lost my kid brother in March from a fentanyl overdose. I know how deadly these drugs are and the impacts they have on loved ones and our whole community,” said Executive Somers. “We must do more before we lose more family members and neighbors.”
The MAC Group developed seven overall goals to be approved by the Disaster Policy Group.
- To focus on reducing and preventing instances of drug misuse,
- Preventing overdose
- Preventing death
- Expansion of life-saving interventions
- Long-term treatment options
- Increasing community awareness of available resources
- Reducing stigma
As well, the MAC group also developed a set of immediate strategies to get underway in the short term with existing finances.
- 1. Develop a mobile opioid treatment program to operate in high priority areas of the county to administer safe and federally approved medications in combination with substance use and behavioral therapies.
- Implement more robust prevention education programs in partnership with local school districts.
The number of opioid overdose deaths in Snohomish County more than doubled between 2017 and 2022.
For more information on Executive Somers goals and strategies as well as overdose prevention click here.