2014 Seattle-King County Drug Abuse Trends

The University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) has posted its 2014 Drug Abuse Trends for Seattle and King County and the current trends for the region are not looking good.

Major highlights of the 2014 study include:

  • Drug caused deaths involving heroin and/or methamphetamine peaked in 2014.
  • Prescription opioid involved deaths are at their lowest point in a decade.
  • The number of treatment admissions with heroin as the primary drug doubled from 2010-2014 and are higher than any drug since at least 1999
  • 10% of high school seniors used marijuana on at least one-third of the days in the prior month, up significantly from a decade prior.

The study itself paints a very concerning picture. We are, without a doubt, facing a distinct increase in Heroin use, a trend we are seeing not only in Seattle & King County but throughout Washington State and the entirety of the United States.

Some quick examples of increases in abuse and the ramifications there-in can be found in the graphs found on pages 8 and 11. On page 8, a direct correlation can easily be drawn between the three year decrease in Prescription Opioid use and a stead three year increase in Heroin use.

2014 ADAI page 8

Page 11, the goes on to show Drug induced death trends measured over the previous 17 years with Heroin, Alcohol, Cocaine and Methamphetamine have incredible upswings over the course of the last 4 years. As can also be seen, Heroin not only held the most dramatic year-over-year increase but also had (by far) the most attributed deaths.

2014 ADAI page 11 figure B

Additional information can be found at the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute’s website, or you can directly downloaded the study in its entirety here.