A rural multi-agency coordination group in Washington state that responds to the local opioid crisis like a natural disaster
In 2017, local leaders formed the Snohomish County Opioid Response Multi-Agency Coordination Group (MAC Group). The effort builds on the emergency management system to tackle the opioid challenge with many of the same tools deployed to fight a flood, respond to a flu epidemic, or to start rebuilding after an earthquake.
The group’s goals include reducing opioid misuse and reducing damage to the community. Each goal is broken down into manageable steps, like distributing needle cleanup kits and a project to train schoolteachers to recognize trauma and addiction.
The county's program also includes making transportation easier for people in drug treatment, training family members and others in the community on steps to reverse overdoses with medicine, and sending teams of police officers and social workers to help people experiencing homelessness and substance use.
This community response has been replicated. More detailed information on this coordinated response can be found in this presentation.
(Program model uses) many of the same tools deployed to fight a flood, respond to a flu epidemic, or to start rebuilding after an earthquake.