Provider alert issued regarding increased concern of drug overdose

February 25, 2021

The Washington State Department of Health recently released a provider alert regarding drug overdose. Data indicates there were more overdose deaths in Washington in 2020 than in 2019. A convergence of factors, including behavioral health impacts related to COVID-19, may be leading to an increased risk of drug overdose. Illicit fentanyl, found in counterfeit pills, powders and other illicit drugs, is another primary contributing factor. The provider alert includes concrete action steps that providers can take to help prevent overdoses. Steps include alerting patients to changes in the drug supply and the resulting risk of overdose due to fentanyl, and educating caregivers and communities about the signs of overdose and naloxone. Please share this information with your hospital community.


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