Community conversation: Heroin and prescription opiate overdose and addiction

In early March, Dr. Jeff Duchin wrote about the “unprecedented epidemic of drug addiction and overdose caused by prescription pain medications and heroin” in King County. He explained that a public health approach to this serious problem would require two components:

1) helping people who are already addicted and

2) preventing people from becoming addicted in the first place.

At the request of King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and joined by Mayors Nancy Backus of Auburn and Denis Law of Renton, the King County Heroin & Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force was convened in March, 2016.  The Task Force is a broad coalition led by King County Departments of Community Health Services (DCHS) and Public Health and co-Chaired by Dr. Duchin (Public Health) and Brad Finegood (DCHS) with the active participation of the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction Institute and a broad range of community. The Task Force will be making recommendations to improve prevention and treatment of heroin and opioid drug addiction. A key part of the plan involves conversations with members of the public about prevention, health services, and treatment expansion.

The Task Force invites you to join a community conversation to be held on Tuesday, May 31, from 6:15-8:30 p.m. at Renton Community Center.

If you are interested in participating, please register here. The group values your input and looks forward to hearing from you!

This event is sponsored by the King County Heroin & Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force.

2 thoughts on “Community conversation: Heroin and prescription opiate overdose and addiction

  1. With regard to opiate addiction, how in the world do you intend to alleviate the physical pain — just let people die screaming in pain because you don’t want to help them? I’m hearing way too much about opiate addiction without anything to replace it with other than so called pain management courses. They sound like so much lecturing without real answers.

    1. Opiate withdrawal will not kill you. It is unpleasant but can be mitigated with non-opiate drugs like Toradol.

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