Jeanne Kohl-Welles

Seattle Times: It’s hard to get drug treatment while homeless. King County wants to change that.

Amid an opioid overdose crisis that’s seen hundreds of deaths in recent years, King County is planning to bring medication-assisted treatment for opioids to homeless encampments and shelters this fall.

The county last month put out a $1 million request for proposals, with bidders to be picked in September. Another $500,000 is going to a new street medicine team on wheels to meet with people living in tents and shelters starting this month.

The two-pronged approach is to ensure that people who want addiction treatment can get it, and to bring more medical care into encampments and shelters. The strategy will focus on outreach and improving people’s health — not on abstinence, and not connected to efforts to remove encampments from public sight.

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