Seattle – Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle & South Park), in her ongoing commitment to addressing the overdose crisis, celebrates the passage of a resolution at today’s King County Board of Health meeting. It urges all jurisdictions within King County to align their opioid settlement funding and invest in services recommended in the Opioid Settlement Stakeholder Feedback report.
“The overdose crisis has claimed too many precious lives, and it requires a coordinated response,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold. “This resolution uses the Board of Health’s voice and expertise – and the experience of residents who struggle with substance use – to guide the governments in our region toward the most effective responses. Our suffering family members, friends, and community members deserve the best help we can give them.”
The overdose crisis continues to devastate communities across King County; as of today, 941 residents have died from overdose, the vast majority from opioids, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County. We are easily on track to eclipse last year’s 1,001 deaths for the entire year. The opioid settlements provide an unusual opportunity to address the crisis directly, although the resources are still insufficient to the size of our crisis. That’s why combining forces and funding is so important.
Resolution No. 23-04 encourages jurisdictions within King County to adopt the framework, funding focus, and methodology for funding prioritization recommended in the Stakeholder report. Community engagement is required by the local settlement agreement; the Stakeholder report draws on the expertise of community members with lived experience. It emphasizes the importance of utilizing these recommendations while developing spending plans, including facilities to provide services such as post-overdose care, opioid medication delivery, health hub services, long-term care management, drop-in support, treatment and overdose response services, access to mobile opioid medication delivery, and harm reduction services.
Additionally, the resolution encourages all jurisdictions within King County to explore cross-jurisdictional spending strategies, aiming to maximize the impact of the available funding. By doing so, local authorities can work together to create a unified approach to tackle the opioid crisis more effectively.
“The overdose crisis doesn’t stop at city borders, of course – Seattle’s or any other city’s borders. It’s essential that every jurisdiction consult expert advice and recommendations when determining how to invest this critical resource to help King County residents and save lives,” continued Herbold.
Joe McDermott, Chair of the Board of Health and King County Councilmember (District 8) said, “The opioid crisis reaches every corner of our community. King County residents should have access to effective strategies to prevent and treat substance use, and these funds will be an important tool to make that a reality.”