LIVE: INTERACTIVE HURRICANE TRACKER

Inslee takes executive action to fight opioid addiction

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Deaths linked to opioids are skyrocketing, and so is the number of Americans abusing the drugs, experts say.

SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee has issued an executive order to fight opioid abuse in Washington state.

Inslee on Friday ordered state agencies to work with local public health, tribal and other officials to respond to the growing problem of overdoses of opioids such as heroin and prescription narcotics. The agencies must work on the state’s response plan and report on its progress by the end of this year.

Inslee made the announcement at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle where he was joined by medical providers, law enforcement officials, patients and family members who have been affected by opioid abuse.

Last year, 718 people died from opioid overdoses in Washington. While prescription opioid drug deaths have declined, heroin overdose deaths are increasing, particularly among young people.