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In 2016, the City of Seattle co-convened the Heroin and Opiate Task Force that finalized recommendations to address the local opioid crisis in September of that year. While the opioid crisis remains present, stimulant use disorder has now surpassed opioids. In response from 2016 to present day, the City has earmarked funds totaling over $1.4 million to be spent on drug user health. Those funds remain unspent, and a lack of policy direction mean individual drug user health and public disorder remains in spiral. In those same years, from September 2016 to present day, more than 508 overdose deaths have occurred inside Seattle.
It’s Time For Urgent Action From the City of Seattle:
Prioritize Housing First, even for drug users:  The City has ignored recommendations from Barb Poppe to focus homeless housing placements on people with the highest housing barriers. While Coordinated Entry has made significant reductions on family, youth, and veterans homelessness, it has also deprioritized those who are often the hardest to house, including active drug users and people with criminal histories. Without system reform, chronic homelessness and public disorder will continue.
Fund a methamphetamine treatment pilot: A Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) approach combined with housing supports for methamphetamine users using a stimulant analogue (namely methylphenidate), which is based on preliminary research and clinical experience suggesting that such an approach will potentially reduce methamphetamine use and related criminal activity.

Strengthen Housing First supports: Housing is a necessary step into resolving substance use disorder and problematic behaviors. But staying in housing is just as important. Funding for tenant education, mitigation services, and outreach would increase the success of housing, decrease a revolving door of homelessness, and save dollars in the long run.

Pioneer safe consumption practices: Safe consumption is a data-proven, evidence-based approach to increase drug-user health and reduce overdoses. Despite the fact that significant challenges exist from the Trump administration and budget concerns with a standalone site, the City can introduce safe consumption practices to low-barrier sites where drug use already occurs.