Snohomish County declares opioid crisis a natural disaster

SEATTLE (AP) — Snohomish County, Washington, has decided to treat its opioid crisis as a natural disaster.

KING-TV reported Monday that the Department of Emergency Management is partially activating its Emergency Coordination Center in response to Snohomish County’s opioid crisis.

County Executive Dave Somers says that if the opioid crisis were any other disaster, the number of its victims would have already constituted emergency tools.

KING-TV reports that about 2 million dirty needles have been picked up across Snohomish County this year. Overdoses now make up 25 percent of all cases seen by the county’s medical examiner.

The county’s designation of the crisis means efforts to stop it will be more coordinated. Deputies and social workers will share data and information to see what’s working.