As the opioid epidemic devastates families, neighborhoods, and communities in Snohomish County, it’s difficult to know how to aid others or where to get involved. Here are a few resources and ideas that can help you keep your neighborhood safe as we fight the epidemic together.
Pick up a Needle Clean-Up Kit
Used needles left in public and private places are both a nuisance and a potential safety concern. Regardless of whether they’re used to inject medicine like insulin or an illegal drug like heroin, a used needle can be potentially dangerous if found lying on the ground.
While the risk of contracting a disease like Hepatitis C from a needle-stick injury is low, you can further reduce that risk by using the right equipment and clean-up procedures. It’s also important to teach children to never pick up needles found on the ground and to report them immediately to a trusted adult.
Free needle clean-up kits and drop-off location are listed on this website.
Lock Up Your Meds
Half of all opioid-related deaths in the U.S. involve a prescription opioid. If you have medication in your home — whether they are prescribed by a doctor or over-the-counter — lock them up.
Report Nuisance Properties
Nuisance properties pose a public safety risk and can potentially impact neighborhood property values by unchecked criminal activity as well as violate county and Snohomish Health District codes. These properties are also magnets for squatters and criminal behavior, such as drug use and/or trafficking, prostitution, storage of stolen property and vehicles, occupation of RVs or other structures not permitted for residence, and more. To report a nuisance property, call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 425-407-3999. You can also file a complaint through the Snohomish Health District online or by email email@example.com.
Talk to Your Faith Leader
Local faith communities have charity and non-profit entities that provide services and outreach to vulnerable populations, including those who struggle with addiction and/or homelessness. Some of these include:
- The Interfaith Association of Northwest Washington
- Salvation Army
- Lutheran Community Services Northwest
- Catholic Community Services
Connect With a Community Coalition
The key to success in tackling any community-wide problem is involvement and partnerships. Several public agencies in Snohomish County have existing community coalitions that meet regularly and are engaged in the challenges our neighbors, friends and families face. The following is not a complete list, but includes coalitions that focus on prevention/intervention, a specific community, or Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs):
- Monroe Community Coalition
- Marysville Together Coalition
- Darrington Prevention Intervention Community Coalition
- Granite Falls Community Coalition
- Snohomish County Children’s Wellness Coaltion
- Casino Road Stakeholders
- ACEs Quarterly/NEAR Collaborative
- Children’s Commission
Volunteer for Crisis Support
Consider actively engaging with agencies providing support and outreach. United way of Snohomish County has dozens of volunteer opportunities, including serving as a 2-1-1 operator who can connect people in need to vetted health and human services in our community.
Share Your Story
If you or someone you love has struggled with addiction, consider sharing your story. Drug users and addicts have long been stigmatized. Until people in the community begin to see themselves (or their sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and spouses) in the problem and addiction is viewed as a disease, rather than a moral failing, we will never win the battle.