Drug Deaths Hit Record In King County in 2016
August 11, 2017
(SEATTLE, WA.) -- According to a new report issued by researcheres at the University of Washiongton, drug deaths hit a record of 332 in King County last year.
Drugs and money piled on a table from a police raid. File photo. CLICK TO ENLARGE
Two-thirds of them were opioid-related.
Items from the report :
.......Heroin indicators remain at high levels in 2016 across all measures and there were more than 4 calls per day to the Recovery Helpline seeking assistance regarding heroin.
.......Heroin deaths declined somewhat in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, there was improved reporting of fentanyl of unknown source (not obviously pharmaceutical) and fentanyl analogs in deaths such that 17 deaths were identified with these compounds present that would not have been previously
.......Marijuana use was statistically unchanged among high school sophomores in King County from 2006-2016 with 17% and 14% reporting past month use, respectively. Other indicators including police evidence testing, helpline calls and treatment admissions all declined through 2016.
.......Indicators of cocaine use and consequences are generally level or declining. Calls from adults to the Recovery Helpline have been steady and police evidence testing cases have been slowly and steadily declining in recent years and are well below levels seen a decade ago.
.......Treatment admissions in 2016 were similar to previous years, but substantially lower than 2011-2012, and drug overdose deaths involving cocaine have been at moderate and relatively steady levels in recent years, down substantially from peak levels a decade ago.
.......Methamphetamine indicators continue to increase, most notably deaths involving methamphetamine totaled 98 in 2016, with a steady increase from the 20 deaths in 2011. In 2016, 51% of methamphetamine involved drug caused deaths also involved an opioid.
.......Police evidence testing for methamphetamine continued to increase in 2016 and it was the most commonly identified drug. Prescription-type opioid trends are down somewhat from peaks around 2010, however prescription-type opioid involved deaths are persisting at elevated rates and are second only to heroin in terms of most common drugs identified in fatal overdoses.
.......Injection drug use as the exposure category for HIV remains low, 3-4% of new HIV infections from 2008-2016, not including men who have sex with men and inject methamphetamine who are much more likely to have HIV.
.......The majority of people who inject drugs in King County are HCV positive. Syringe exchange and naloxone programs continue to increase distribution.