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To confront the region’s growing heroin and opioid epidemic, the Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force recommends a comprehensive strategy that focuses on prevention, increasing access to treatment on demand and reducing the number of fatal overdoses.

The problem

King County, like many places across the country, is seeing sharp increases in the use and abuse of heroin and prescription opiates.The rate of addiction is high and availability of treatment has not kept pace with the need.   

On March 1,2016, King County Executive Dow Constantine hosted a news conference to announce the formation of a heroin and prescription opiate addiction task force. Serving as co-conveners of the task force were Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, and Renton Mayor Denis Law. King County Sheriff John Urquhart also participated in the news conference, along with community leaders on the front lines in the fight to reduce opiate addiction, overdose and deaths.

Task Force meetings took place over a period of six months and their efforts included hosting a well-attended community meeting in Renton in May 2016 to gather public input to inform their recommendations. Their final report and recommendations were provided to the conveners in September 2016.

The Task Force is continuing to meet, both as a body and in small subcommittees to move the recommendations forward in 2017.


Opioid Task Force Fentanyl Response Planning Meeting
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 12-1 p.m.
Seattle City Hall
Bertha Knights Landes Room (enter from 5th Ave)
600 Fourth Ave, Seattle
Facebook Live Q&A on CHELs
 Watch the Facebook Live Q&A session about supervised consumption sites hosted by task force co-chairs Dr. Jeff Duchin and Brad Finegood on June 9.

Moving forward on expert recommendations to confront the heroin and opioid epidemic - Jan. 27, 2017

Heroin and opioid task force recommends strategy that focuses on prevention and increasing access to treatment - Sept. 15, 2016


What is the evidence supporting Community Health Engagement Locations (CHELs)?

Other frequently asked questions CHELs and the task force

Download the task force's full report.

Download (PDF) If the document does not open in your browser, right-click and "Save as".



Download a printable PDF version of all four infographics together: Download (PDF)

Document library

Friday, March 25, 2016   Agenda  Meeting Summary

Friday, April 22, 2016      Agenda    Meeting Summary

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - Community Conversation on Heroin and Opiate Addiction

Friday, June 3, 2016    Agenda    Meeting Summary

Friday, July 29, 2016, 1-4 p.m., Seattle City Hall, Bertha K. Landis Room

Friday, Aug, 26, 2016 (cancelled)

Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, ​1-4 p.m., Seattle City Hall, Bertha K. Landis Room  Agenda

Contact Us

Phone 206-263-9000

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Fax: 206-296-0583