The Washington State Department of Health announced Wednesday, April 5th, the launching of yet another of their dashboards. Remember COVID?  Monkeypox? Now we can monitor drug overdoses and deaths.

 The new dashboard will track drug overdoses, 'educate' the public

According to the DOH:

" The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently launched an updated Opioid and Drug Overdose Data dashboard that includes county level data on hospitalizations and deaths due to overdose of opioids and other drugs. The new dashboard presents information in an easier-to-understand format, making data more accessible – and thus actionable – to the public."

Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH stated in the DOH release that the purpose is to inform the public more clearly about the opioid epidemic facing WA state. Since 2007, through 2021, 17,500 residents have died from opioid-related causes.

Fentanyl is fast becoming the leading killer of these kinds of deaths. However, rates have climbed even faster since the legislature decriminalized heroin, fentanyl, meth, cocaine, and other hard drugs by doing away with the possession charge.

The dashboard does offer county, region and statewide data. In Benton County, for the year 2021, there were 148 non-fatal hospitalizations from such overdose, and 38 deaths. Franklin County saw 38 and 24 respectively.

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King County, for 2021, had 1,283 reported hospitalizations, and 649 reported deaths. Snohomish, 439 and 237, while Pierce had 750 and 340.  Spokane County had 460 hospitalizations and 184 deaths.

 The dashboard also shows the overdose and death rates per 100K of the population had some surprising results. Several coastal and smaller counties had higher percentages of overdoses and deaths than King, Snohomish, or Spokane.


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