Election 2016: As heroin deaths rise, Snohomish County puts sales-tax hike on ballot

election-2016-buttonSnohomish County is citing a growing number of opioid overdose deaths as it advocates for a sales-tax increase on the Aug. 2 primary election ballot that would, in large part, help it hire more sheriff’s deputies, according to this story from our online news partner The Seattle Times. A much smaller portion of the money might be used for treatment programs and hiring social workers, but details wouldn’t be worked out until after the measure passes.

From 2011 to 2014, 420 people died of opioid overdoses in Snohomish County — a death rate that ranks among the state’s highest. Officials are calling it an epidemic. Efforts to curb the problem have been complicated by budget troubles.

“Everyone, every department, is strained,” County Executive Dave Somers said. “We obviously have a lot more people on the street than we can provide for. At times it feels like we’re on a treadmill. We’re trying to help, but it still doesn’t feel like we’re reducing the problem.”

You can read more in The Times story here.

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