DSHS continues work to combat opioid crisis with launch of “Starts with One” campaign

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff
Editor's Note:  In the past two weeks, I received a few emails and a few more handwritten letters from students urging The Woodinville Weekly to consider writing a story about drug abuse in our community and what (if anything) is being done to draw attention to and more importantly help to solve the problem. 

I'd like to THANK these students for standing up and reaching out to us.  It takes a lot of courage to call attention to difficult issues in our community and in our schools.
We are happy to report that Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Social and Health (DSHS) have not only addressed the problem in our communities but they are working towards solutions.
Please see the press release that follows outlining a new DSHS program that is another step in the war to combat opioid addiction. Again - thank you students!
According to recent statistics, prescription pain medications are now the leading cause of accidental death in Washington state – more than guns or car crashes. In 2015, an average of two Washingtonians died each day from opioid overdose, and heroin deaths more than doubled between the years 2010 and 2015.
Now, using a portion of an $11 million federal grant, the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) is continuing its work to combat the state’s opioid epidemic by launching a new prevention campaign, “Starts with One.”
“This campaign is an important component of a larger prevention and treatment strategy to combat the opioid use disorder epidemic gripping our state,” said Chris Imhoff, Director of the DSHS Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery.
“We all have critical roles in addressing the opioid crisis,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Together we can improve the health of our communities by taking preventative steps in our homes and communities today as well as supporting loved ones who are seeking treatment and recovery.”
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) received the grant in spring 2017. Provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the grant not only assists in implementing a statewide response plan, it also helps address key elements in Governor Jay Inslee’s Executive Order issued in October 2016 to fight the opioid crisis. In his order, Inslee expressed it was imperative that the state act in a comprehensive manner to address this public health crisis.
DSHS launched the campaign earlier this month, focusing on the premise that every Washingtonian can play a role in preventing opioid abuse. 
The themes used in this multi-media campaign are “one act of kindness,” “one honest conversation” and “one simple step,” all of which are paired with specific actions people can take:
Young adults can share the facts of opioid abuse with their peers and talk with health care providers about other options for pain management when prescribed an opioid;
Parents can speak to their kids about the risks of opioids and tips on how to lock up or dispose of medications; and
Older adults and parents are encouraged to lock up and dispose of medications safely.
Learn more about the campaign and download materials at If you or a loved one has a substance use disorder and need help, please call the Washington Recovery Help Line at any time for free, confidential and
emotional support as well as crisis intervention and referrals at 1-866-789-1511.

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