Rates of alcohol and drug abuse vary depending on where you are. Often, big cities, regardless of how nice they may appear, contain the highest drug and alcohol addiction rates. This is partly because of the high population in big cities.
Big cities also tend to have high drug and alcohol addiction rates because the economic disparity amongst people in big cities is large. Therefore, there are just as many people living in low-income urban areas in big cities than wealthy people. Unfortunately, people on either extreme of the economic spectrum tend to abuse substances more than those that are middle class.
Many counties that contain addiction problems contain major cities in their counties. These cities contain a high level of affluent and poor individuals. One county that is like this is King County in Washington state.
King County is the most populated county in Washington state. Not only is it the most populated county in Washington state, but it also contains the most populous Washington state city, Seattle.
Because of how populated King County is, addiction is unavoidable. Unfortunately, though addiction rates in King County appear to be going up in recent years. To rectify this issue, people that are suffering from addiction in King County should seek out addiction treatment.
To show you just how important addiction treatment in King County is, we’re going to go over the rates of drug abuse and overdose deaths caused by different substances in King County. But before doing that, you should know a little bit more about King County.
As we mentioned earlier, King County is the county in Washington state with the city of Seattle in it. King County is also the most populous county in Washington state. In fact, it’s the 12th most populous county in the United States.
The high population of King County combined with its high cost of living makes King County contain both an affluent community and a large, low-income community. Therefore, this county is the perfect candidate for a high addiction problem.
One way to know if more people in your county need to attend addiction treatment is by tracking the number of deaths that occur in your county due to drug use. Like many areas in America right now, the number of deaths caused by drug use in King County in recent years is high.
In fact, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO), the number of confirmed drug and alcohol deaths in the county has increased from 265 to 415 between 2009 and 2018.
Even when you make the necessary adjustments to the drug and alcohol death rates according to population growth in King County, the number of death rates due to substances per 100,000 residents went up from 13.9 in 2009 to 18.9 in 2018. Of the 2018 number of alcohol and drug-related deaths in 2018, 11% were due to alcohol poisoning, non-euphoric drugs, or other medications. The rest were primarily due to different types of opioids or stimulants.
Many of the overdose drug-related deaths in King County in 2018 were due to a combination of different substances. For example, the percentage of alcohol and drug-related deaths in King County in 2018 that involved both an opioid and a stimulant went from 17% in 2009 to 32% in 2018.
In fact, according to Public Health, 77% of people that died due to substance abuse in the county that year had multiple substances in their system at the time. Also, according to Public Health, only 9% of substance-related deaths in 2018 were due to alcohol alone. That’s because, like with the other drugs, most people abused alcohol while also abusing other substances.
When comparing the amount of heroin and prescription opioid caused deaths from 2017 to 2018 in King County, the number is actually stable. If you compare the number of heroin caused deaths in 2018 in King County to the number of heroin caused deaths in King County several years prior, the number definitely increases.
The number of prescription opioid-related deaths in King County in 2018 compared to the number of prescription opioid-related deaths in King County over the course of several years prior, on the other hand, decreased.
The total number of opioid-related deaths, in general, in 2018 in King County was 277. Of those 277 deaths, 156 were due to heroin. That is equivalent to 38% of all of the alcohol and drug-related deaths in King County in 2018 being due to heroin.
100 deaths in 2018 in King County were due to prescription opioids. That’s equivalent to 24% of all of the alcohol and drug-related deaths in King County in 2018 being due to prescription opioids.
Like with heroin caused death rates, the number of fentanyl-related overdose deaths in King County increased in 2018. In fact, the number of fentanyl deaths from 2017 to 2018 doubled. This took the number of fentanyl deaths from going from 33 in 2017 to 66 in 2018.
Most people that overdosed due to fentanyl were also taking other substances at the time. In fact, 82% of fentanyl overdoses in 2018 occurred with a combination of other drugs.
Part of the reason why fentanyl-related death rates were so high in 2018 in King County was because of the large amounts of fentanyl that people were illicitly manufacturing at that time. The most popular form of fentanyl that people abused in 2018 in King County is the pill form. The pill form is then followed by the powder form, and then the syringe form.
In 2018 in King County, 163 deaths involved methamphetamine. That is equivalent to 40% of all of the alcohol and drug-related deaths in King County that year.
The rate of methamphetamine involved death rates from 2009 to 2018 in this county experienced an increase. This is evident in the fact that the number of methamphetamine deaths went from 4.2 to 10.1 per 100,000 King County residents between 2009 and 2018.
Similar to prior years, around 20% of 2018 drug overdose deaths in King County involved alcohol. At that time, 9 alcohol poisoning deaths occurred in the county.
There were 86 cocaine-related deaths that occurred in King County in 2018. That is equivalent to 21% of all of the alcohol and drug-related deaths in the county that year.
Two-thirds of the people that overdosed on drugs or alcohol in King County from 2017-2018 were between the ages of 30-59. When it came to gender, men overdose on substances twice as often as women.
When it comes to the economic demographic of the people that overdosed on substances between 2017-2018, 16% of them were homeless. This is despite the fact that the homeless population in King County only makes less than 1% of the residents.
Drug and alcohol-related deaths are 4 times more likely to happen to American Indian and Alaskan Natives than non-white Hispanics. These statistics may vary when talking about King County. Still, American Indians and Alaskan Natives only make up 0.6% of the King County population.
Drug and alcohol-related deaths are also greater amongst non-Hispanic blacks than non-Hispanic whites. In fact, non-Hispanic black people experience drug and alcohol-related deaths at 22% more often than non-Hispanic white people. This is despite the fact that black people only make up 6.3% of King County’s population.
To help decrease the high rates of addiction in King County, it’s important to have addiction treatment centers nearby. This is so that people living in King County can have easy access to addiction treatment and addiction treatment resources.
When searching for an addiction treatment center in King County, look for a place with individualized treatment programs. That way you know that your needs are being catered to. Also, make sure to look for an addiction treatment center with a detox facility if you need it.
You also need to make sure that you have access to residential and outpatient treatment, along with aftercare services. That way you can receive the perfect amount of treatment that you need. You can also receive assistance transitioning from rehab to the real world.
At Free by the Sea, we contain a plethora of different detox, addiction treatment, and therapy programs and resources. That way, you can use these services to help you overcome your addiction. Most importantly, our facility is located in Washington State. Therefore, you don’t have to leave the state to receive high-quality addiction treatment.
To learn more about Free by the Sea, and the addiction treatment services that we offer, contact us today. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Dr. Richard Crabbe joined our team in 2019 as our psychiatrist and medical director. He attended the University of Ghana Medical School where he became a Medical Doctor in 1977. From 1978 through 1984, he was a medical officer in the Ghana Navy and provided a variety of services from general medicine to surgeries. He received his Certificate in General Psychology from the American Board of Psychology and Neurology in 2002.