Governor looks to woman in recovery for opioid advice

KING 5's Drew Mikkelsen reports.

Calling the state’s number of opioid deaths a “public health crisis,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee is looking for solutions.

On average, two people in Washington die every day from opioid-related overdoses.

That’s more than the number of people killed in car crashes, according to the Washington State Patrol.

During a panel discussion with state agency heads Wednesday, Inslee turned to a King County Social Worker for her advice.

“Could you take a minute and talk about the power of recovery,” Inslee asked Thea Oliphant-Wells, a King County social worker, who said she has opioid use disorder.

“I was homeless,” said Oliphant-Wells, “as well as injecting heroin.”

But she told the governor she received help at a needle exchange.

She credits a social worker with getting her a voucher for a place to live, along with counseling for mental health.

“It’s never just one thing, it’s everything,” said Oliphant-Wells.

During Wednesday’s discussion, state officials told Inslee treating those with opioid use disorder with medication and having more resources available across the state can help reduce overdose numbers.

G4. Gov. Results Review 2017-10-25 by KING 5 News on Scribd

© 2017 KING-TV


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