Press Release: 2024-07-10

How the Health Care Authority is reversing opioid overdoses in North Central Washington by providing low-barrier access to life-saving harm reduction


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Since 2019, the annual number of opioid drug overdose deaths in the state of Washington nearly doubled from 827 in 2019 to 1,619 in 2021. The state responded to the crisis by creating the 2021-2022 Statewide Opioid Response Plan, which prevents opioid misuse by identifying and treating substance use disorders. Washington Governor Jay Inslee also signed initiative SB 5195 into law, effective July 25, 2021, which helps increase naloxone access for all individuals at risk of an opioid overdose.

To achieve the state’s goals, Health Care Authority (HCA) leadership decided to collaborate with partners experienced in creating programs that successfully address opioid use disorders (OUDs). HCA selected Carelon Behavioral Health as its partner due to Carelon’s strong reputation in this area. HCA began to see impressive results in the following months.


 Read the case study to learn more