Washington state receives $21.5 million to tackle opioid epidemic

September 19, 2018

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Gov. Jay Inslee announced today that Washington will receive an additional $21.5 million to support state efforts to combat the opioid crisis.  

The funding is part of more than $1 billion in State Opioid Response (SOR) grants to states to prevent opioid-related overdoses and deaths, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today. Washington will use its funding to further our state’s opioid response plan, building upon an $11 million grant the state received in 2017.

Inslee launched an executive order in October 2016 to bring together state agencies, local public health organizations, law enforcement, tribal governments, and other partners to act on opioids.

Since then a strong, well-coordinated state plan has developed that includes the innovative "hub and spoke" model which makes treatment more accessible to the people who need it, at the right time, and the right places.

“While the opioid crisis is affecting our entire nation, many of the best solutions are at the community level,” Inslee said. “This funding will help Washington continue our efforts to prevent misuse in the first place, and treat our friends and family who are experiencing opioid use disorder.”

Activities funded by the SOR grant will include:

  • Increasing access to medication assisted treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder.
  • Community prevention services such as outreach and training on safe storage and safe opioid prescribing practices, and school-based specialists.
  • Recovery support services including evidence-based peer support.
  • Expanding two projects to support treatment and care for incarcerated individuals with opioid use disorder.
  • Enhancement of the statewide Starts with One public education campaign.

“We already have reached thousands of Washingtonians with prevention, treatment and recovery resources,” said HCA Director Sue Birch. “This grant will help us spread those efforts even further. We know that while overdoses in our state due to prescription opioids have declined thanks to these efforts, we are experiencing an increase in overdoses and death due to heroin and the synthetic drug Fentanyl. We are not done tackling this epidemic yet, but these dollars help us move forward.”

For help with substance use disorders, Washingtonians can contact the Washington Recovery Helpline at 1.866. 789-1511 or visit https://www.warecoveryhelpline.org.

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Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136

Amy Blondin, Health Care Authority | amy.gravelet-blondin@hca.wa.gov
360.725.1915