Clallam League of Women Voters to hold opioid epidemic talk

County public health officer to be speaker at Sequim event

SEQUIM — The League of Women Voters of Clallam County will host a presentation on the opioid epidemic from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The presentation will be held in the Sequim City Council chambers, 152 W. Cedar St.

Clallam County had the second-highest rate of opioid deaths in the state from 2012 through 2016, according to a news release.

Dr. Allison Unthank, Clallam County public health officer, will provide an overview on the epidemic in the county, review the county’s current strategies and outline what the community can expect in the future.

She said the presentation would address the general topic of addiction rather than specifics on the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s proposed medication-assisted treatment facility west of downtown Sequim.

“The plan is not have it be focused on that treatment facility in particular, but treatment overall,” Unthank said in a Monday interview.

Unthank said she would present evidence about addiction and how it is best treated.

She added that the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) model is the “gold standard.”

According to data obtained by The Washington Post, Clallam County received 37,838,060 opioid pain pills from 2006 through 2012.

That’s 76.6 pills per person per year and more pills per person than any other county in Washington state.

Health officials in Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties have partnered up to fight the opioid epidemic through the Olympic Community of Health.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that promotes informed and active participation of citizens in government.

For more information, email the league at [email protected] or visit www. lwvcla.org.

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