Comprehensive Approach to Opioid Crisis

With the opioid crisis growing in Washington and the U.S., lawmakers in Olympia are waging an all-fronts attack.  Dan Frizzell from Washington State House Democratic Caucus has more.

CODY: “There’s hardly anyone in the state that hasn’t been touched by an opioid problem, in either their family or their friends.  And so it’s kinda been the great equalizer.  It’s a big bipartisan issue, and we’ve been making some progress.”

When Gary Locke was governor, he called education the great equalizer.  Today opioid abuse has taken on that mantle, and it’s one that legislators are trying to shake.  One of this year’s big bills in Olympia aims to reform everything from the way the drug is prescribed to the methods used to treat widespread addiction. Representative Eileen Cody, a Democrat from West Seattle, is a nurse, the chair of the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee, and the sponsor of that bipartisan bill.

CODY: “There isn’t just one answer to what you do to fix the opioid problem. We have to have more treatment, decrease the number of prescriptions that are being used, have people more informed about the problems of prescription opioids that can lead to the illegal use of heroin.”

Cody’s opioid reform bill got a unanimous thumbs-up in her committee and is in the Appropriations Committee now, which has till March 1 to act on it.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.