The white House Office of Drug Control Policy has recognized Snohomish County for the efforts that it has made to minimize deaths that result from opiate overdose. Immediately after the recognition, County Executive Dave Somers released a press statement that detailed all the efforts that have been made to achieve the current status. Noting that the heroin and opiate epidemic has had devastating effects to many families, he said that the new project is the best collaboration that can be used to solve one of the most difficult issues that the county has faced.
Sheriff Ty Trenary said that the support from HIDTA and the strong partnership across the county were the major factors that led to the success of law enforcement agencies in the fight against heroin. He also said that it helped them to save a lot of lives.
He particularly pointed out naloxone as a powerful tool for the sheriffs especially those who work in remote areas. In such areas, services are not always quickly available and so, it would be difficult to save lives without the availability of the medication naloxone.
Efforts To Protect Public Lives
During the annual HIDTA conference, the director of National Drug Control Policy recognized HIDTA programs for the efforts that they have made in protecting public health as well as safety in communities in the county. He said that the Snohomish county opiate project had an outstanding prevention effort.
Coordinating Drug Enforcement Operations
The director noted that HIDTA is an all-inclusive solution that helps the state, federal, and local authorities to manage the drug enforcement operations. It also supports public health and safety apart from the fact that it has been instrumental in prevention efforts. The contribution towards avoiding the marketing of illegal drugs is another reason why the county was honored by the White House.
Statistics show that at least 25 people have been saved from heroin-related deaths since the program began training law enforcement officers in May 2015. The training was mainly focused on the use of Naloxone. During this period, a lot of opiate overdose victims have been helped to regain their consciousness. The Snohomish county sheriff deputy of Lake Stevens was the first to report a save. This came just a few days after he had completed his training and received his overdose kit
Also called Narcan, naloxone is used majorly as an antidote for opioid overdose. It has been highly effective in Snohomish County if the figures and statics are anything to go by. Wherever you go, be it in ambulances or hospitals, you will find naloxone. The most notable effect is that it neutralizes the opioids in the victim’s system this making them breathe again.
The county executive hailed the move by the White House to recognize their efforts saying that it is a source of motivation to do even more. He said that more efforts would have to be directed at sensitizing young people so that they do not get into drug abuse which leads to addiction and eventual death.