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Overdose deaths climb to near 2,500 in Washington state last year, an increase of 17%

The latest report found that 2,432 people died from an overdose in Washington state last year.

SEATTLE — Nearly 2,500 people died from overdoses in Washington state in 2022, representing the fifth-highest increase in the United States, according to a report published Monday. 

A report from Quote Wizard said 2,432 people died from overdoses in Washington state in 2022. The 17% increase was the fifth highest rate in the country, only trailing Maine (24%), Oklahoma (22%), New Hampshire (21%) and Delaware (19%), according to the report. 

The increase amounts to over 350 more people dying from an overdose in 2022 than in 2021.

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The report said opioid deaths have skyrocketed across the country since 2015 when there were 52,000 overdose-related deaths. There were 107,000 overdose deaths in 2022 alone. The biggest uptick in overdoses came at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when deaths increased by 30%, according to findings from the report. 

The Washington State Project to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose (WA-PDO) started in September 2016 and ended in August 2021, a five-year program designed to prevent opioid overdoses. The latest report found that opioids account for 70% of all overdose deaths.

WA-PDO's program was incorporated in 32 Washington counties through 24 syringe service programs, in addition to officers in 107 law enforcement units and six tribal police units. 

In five years, WA-PDO distributed 55,155 kits of Naloxone, a medicine that can rapidly reverse an opioid overdose. The program trained 16,214 people and reversed 9,526 potential overdoses, according to an analysis from the University of Washington. 


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