News & Spotlights

Take Action to Save Lives & End the Opioid Epidemic

January 10th, 2023
Education, News

By: Natasha Rudolph, Communications Coordinator

Take Action to Save Lives & End the Opioid Epidemic


The opioid epidemic is getting worse and recreational drugs are now being laced with fentanyl. According to the CDC:  “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is often added to other drugs because of its extreme potency, which makes drugs cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more dangerous.”

These fentanyl-laced drugs are being sold as non-opioid substances including stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Because of this new phase in the epidemic, King County saw a 43% increase in opioid deaths in 2022 from the previous year. We need to come together as a community to help our friends, family, and colleagues.

Here are some resources to learn more about the opioid crisis and how you can help:

Prevent an Overdose & Keep People Safe

• Learn the signs of opioid overdose.

• If you suspect an overdose, call 911 right away. The Good Samaritan Law protects you and the overdose victim from drug possession charges.

•If you have people in your life who use any kind of street drug:

- Talk with them about the dangers of fentanyl and how it is showing up in many different drugs and forms.

- Carry naloxone and know how to use it.  This medication can reverse an opioid overdose. You do NOT need a prescription to get naloxone. Learn more here. 

- Encourage them to get and use their own free fentanyl test strips. These small strips of paper can detect the presence of fentanyl in all different kinds of drugs (cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, etc.).  You can order them for FREE from King County: 

Education for Parents and Community Resources

• Laced and lethal - website that educates about fentanyl  (Spanish)  (English)

• SAMHSA website for parents to help guide conversations around drinking and drug use; gives advice on how to talk to teens, what to talk to teens about.  (Spanish)  (English)

• Free printed educational materials from King County, available in English and Spanish.

• King County resource page for fentanyl, crystal, treatment resources, and prevention. Information in English and Spanish. 

Drug Treatment and Recovery Resources

• Washington Recovery Helpline - free telephone number to call to find substance use and mental health services in Washington State. 1-866-789-1511. 

• King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (for mental and substance use disorder referrals for low-income King County residents) 

Free Naloxone: This medication can reverse an opioid overdose.