House committee hears Rep. Dave Hayes’ opioid treatment pilot program bill
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SUGGESTED LEAD: Lawmakers in Olympia are concerned with the massive abuse of opioid drugs in the state. One of the first bills to be heard on the first day of the 2018 legislative session seeks to address the opioid crisis. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: Snohomish Health officials say that in just seven days last summer, 37 people overdosed on opioid drugs and two died.
Representative Dave Hayes of Camano Island has proposed a diversion pilot project in Snohomish County through December of 2019 to test the effectiveness of providing treatment, temporary housing, employment opportunities and other services to battle the opioid crisis.
HAYES: “Snohomish County has an existing partnership between the Sheriff's Office and Human Services that partners folks together with embedded social workers. And that has already been in place. There's been a lot of ground work done by the folks up in Snohomish County and the city of Everett for several years, and I believe should be the way the state of Washington addresses folks with addiction issues and mental health.”
SATTGAST: Hayes testified Tuesday before the House Public Safety Committee. Under House Bill 2287, existing facilities with a 40-bed capacity would be used in Snohomish County to treat high-need individuals impacted by opioid drug addiction. If the program is successful, it could be expanded to other communities to fight drug abuse.
John Sattgast, Olympia
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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