Record-high 332 drug deaths in King County in 2016

King County set a new record for drug deaths in a single year with 332 deaths in 2016, according to a report released Thursday from the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.

More than two-thirds of those deaths – 219 people – were opioid related.

“This report highlights the terrible fact that drug overdoses continue to be a leading cause of death in our community” Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for Public Health-Seattle & King County, said in a release. "We all need to recognize addiction as the chronic medical condition it is, make treatment as easy to get as heroin is, and address barriers to recovery."

The data in the report comes from a collaboration between federal, state, and local government officials and community-based agency experts.

In 2015, 320 people in King county died from drug related deaths.

Researchers also saw a spike in methamphetamine related deaths since 2011. In 2017 there were 98 methamphetamine related deaths compared to 20 deaths five years prior.

© 2017 KING-TV


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