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Human Services

Director: Jennifer Johnson


Skagit County's Opioid Crisis

A wide range of partners in Skagit County, including medical and treatment providers, social services, law enforcement, schools, families, public health and others have been working since July of 2016 to tackle this complex issue.  Through the Opioid Workgroup Leadership team, MVHope and many individual agencies, Skagit County is working hard to solve the opioid crisis that affects us all.

What is Skagit County doing?

Opioid Resource Guide
Opioides: Guia de Recursos
Opioid Talking Points
Opioid Overdose Report Form
Facts & Stats

Opioid Overdose a Notifiable Condition

Overview of Ordinance

The ordinance requires that health care providers notify Skagit County Public Health of an opioid overdose within 72 hours of diagnosis.  Public Health will collect and evaluate the data which will help develop strategies and target interventions to areas of greatest need. 

On an individual level, confidential reporting of an individual overdose may include direct contact with the individual to offer resources.  While the landscape of the opioid epidemic and care is always changing, we aim to keep our follow-up plans flexible to adapt to the needs in the community.  Our goal is not to compete with existing care options but to augment them.  Some of this care may involve:

  • Providing access to naloxone
  • Educating as appropriate
  • Connecting to evidence-based treatment, if desired
  • Connecting to other support services
On an aggregate level, Communicable Disease staff will conduct analysis of surveillance data to provide timely information to medical, prevention, and harm reduction partners to inform community efforts. Data can inform the development of new targeted or universal interventions, deployed by Public Health or partners.

Other activities will include communicating with prescribing physicians and continued data monitoring and reporting. 

Related documents

Related articles

clean upNeedle cleanup kits

Skagit County Public Health has available needle pickup kits at its downtown offices, 700 S. Second Street, Mount Vernon. Kits include safety glasses, gloves, a needle pickup tool and a sharps container. Interested individuals can come by and pick up a kit free of charge. When the sharps container is full, they can return the kit to Public Health for disposal.

RISE Needle Exchange Program Saves Lives

The RISE Program, a service of Phoenix Recovery Services that is funded by Skagit County, is a mobile needle exchange program that offers 1:1 needle exchange, education and referral, and no-cost Narcan kits in multiple locations throughout Skagit County.

Needle exchange programs are critical in preventing the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C while engaging people in health intervention and referral to treatment services.  The RISE program also helps reduce the amount of contaminated needles in the public waste system.

Brochure: Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid Overdose and Naloxone

Opioid overdose is life-threatening and requires immediate emergency attention. Recognizing the signs of opioid overdose is essential to saving lives. Naloxone is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent overdose by opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. It blocks opioid receptor sites, reversing the toxic effects of the overdose. Naloxone is administered when a patient is showing signs of opioid overdose.


Treatment Resources

This 8-minute video covers overdose risks, the WA State Good Samaritan Law,
and a step-by-step demonstration of what to do in an opioid overdose
(including rescue breathing and intranasal naloxone)

Presentations from the "Solution to Addiction" seminar
Solution to Addiction Program
Keynote: John Fitzgerald, Solution to Addiction Presentation
John Fitzgerald Substance Use Resource
Denna Vandersloot, Recovery Oriented Systems of Care Presentation