Seattle announces creation of center to treat fentanyl overdoses

Emergency services have recorded almost 2,500 cases so far this year in King County, where the city is located. More than 200 people died as a result of excessive opioid use.

Seattle announced that in 2025 it will open a center for people who have overdosed on fentanyl or other drugs to receive treatment and recover. Those who come to the center will be able to stay up to 23 hours, be seen by doctors and receive treatment options ranging from buprenorphine, which can relieve withdrawal symptoms, to a first round of methadone.

'Urgent, compassionate and innovative' solutions to the fentanyl crisis

Mayor Bruce Harrell said, "The deadly fentanyl and synthetic opioid crisis that we are seeing on our streets and in our neighborhoods demands that we be urgent, compassionate, and innovative in how we help people suffering from addiction access life-saving treatment"

Advancing one of the actions of my Executive Order, this new investment in a post-overdose recovery center and mobile clinics will stabilize people following a non-fatal overdose, alleviating their painful withdrawal symptoms that often cause them to use these highly addictive drugs again and connecting them to evidence-based treatment and recovery services. Working together with the Seattle Fire Department’s Health 99 overdose response team who will be able to bring people to this facility, we are creating synergy to make a pathway to recovery more accessible to those who need it the most. Thank you to our county, state, and federal partners who are supporting these efforts that will help build a healthier, safer future for our entire city.

According to data from the city's emergency services, about 2,500 opioid overdoses have been throughout King County, which includes Seattle, this year. In addition, more than 200 deaths were recorded as a result of opioid overdose.

Avoiding withdrawal symptoms caused by Narcan

The center will not be limited to administering Narcan because it can cause strong withdrawal symptoms for addicts, which could cause the person treated to quickly seek another dose of the drug. To avoid this, municipal officials and service providers explained that the new "post-overdose recovery center" will be a safe place for addicts to get better, in addition to offering various services.

The center, which will be managed by the Downtown Emergency Services Center, a nonprofit organization for homeless people and drug addicts. This group will receive $5.65 million to open the center. Additionally, another $1.35 million will go to Evergreen Treatment Services to launch a mobile clinic to bring medication to those who need it wherever they are.