Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

May 30 2017

In 2015, more Washingtonians died from opioid overdoses than car accidents

SEATTLE — Attorney General Bob Ferguson will hold a two-day summit in June on the opioid epidemic, convening law enforcement, medical professionals, prosecutors and public health experts.

“Opioids are devastating Washington families and communities, and overwhelming our safety nets,” Ferguson said. “This summit will bring together key stakeholders to identify next steps and solutions to this epidemic.”

The summit, scheduled for June 15 and 16 at the University of Washington, is free and open to the public. Those interested should register online.

Speakers include Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg and State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. Multiple sessions will share best practices from around the country, from drug monitoring to health care fraud field operations.

The Attorney General’s Office planned the summit in partnership with the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. On October 7, 2016, Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order requesting that the AGO, along with law enforcement and community partners, develop and recommend strategies to reduce the supply of illegal opioids in Washington state.

In 2015, 718 Washingtonians died from opioid overdose, more than from car accidents. The majority of drug overdose deaths — more than six out of ten — involve an opioid.

The opioid epidemic has impacted Washington unlike any other state in the region. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington is the only Western state to see a statistically significant increase in drug overdose death rates between 2014 and 2015.

Nationwide, 1 in 4 people who receive prescription opioids for chronic pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction.

For more information on the upcoming opioid summit, please contact Kelly Richburg at kellyr1@atg.wa.gov.

A Spanish language version of this release is available here.



The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.


Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov