Washington: Increase in Fentanyl Use

Washington Experiencing Substantial Increase in Illicit Fentanyl Use for 2022

Millennium Health’s Emerging Threat Intelligence™ Report Finds King and Snohomish Counties Experiencing the Most Significant Increases Statewide

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – September 22, 2022 – A dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths, primarily due to illicit fentanyl, is being reported across the U.S.1 Contributing to these deaths is the proliferation of counterfeit pills often containing fentanyl that are nearly impossible to distinguish from authentic medications.2

According to our real-time analysis of urine drug test results, Washington has experienced an increase in fentanyl positivity of 867% in the first half of 2022 compared to all of 2019, demonstrating an urgent need for education and awareness to protect Washingtonians from the dangers of intended or unintended exposure to fentanyl. The analysis found that all five of the most populated counties in Washington have shown dramatic increases in illicit fentanyl positivity for the first half of 2022 compared to 2019, including:

  • King County up 717%
  • Snohomish County up 454%
  • Spokane County up 411%
  • Pierce County up 397%
  • Clark County up 249%

“These increases in fentanyl positivity are especially frightening, as a dose of fentanyl as small as a few grains of salt can result in death,” said Kelly Olson, PhD, Director of Clinical Affairs at Millennium Health. “Last year, the 270% increase for Washington is almost three times higher than US number of 94% between 2019 and 2021 for fentanyl related deaths1. We applaud King County for declaring fentanyl overdoses as a public health crisis and encourage other counties to do the same and help prevent additional drug overdoses.”

Additional information regarding real-time illicit drug use trends here.

About Millennium Health

Millennium Health is an accredited specialty laboratory providing medication monitoring via definitive urine and oral fluid drug tests to support improved clinical decision-making as part of treatment for millions of Americans with chronic pain, mental illness, substance use disorders, and other health conditions. Drug testing is used to obtain objective information about patients’ recent use of prescription medications and/or illicit drugs and helps monitor the effectiveness of treatment plans. We also conduct real-time tracking of emerging drug use trends to help researchers, public health officials, and policymakers address the significant increase in drug overdose deaths.