Local leaders are planning to join together again for the second Tacoma-PIerce County Opioid Summit, where they will discuss the next steps to help battle addiction in the county.

The Tacoma-Pierce County Opioid Summit is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22. at Chris Knutzen Hall, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Ave. S. in Tacoma. This summit takes place after two years of work by the Tacoma-Pierce County Opioid Task Force, led by Tacoma Deputy Mayor Conor McCarthy and Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young. 

“The task force is implementing strategies for opioid education, prevention and treatment programs and actively seeking funding for the rest.  We are excited to share what we’ve learned and find new partnerships at the summit,” said Councilmember Derek Young. “What we know is that information-sharing must happen among all invested to stop the opioid epidemic.”

Summit speakers will include Senator Maria Cantwell, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mary Robnett and William C. Moyers, vice president of public affairs and community relations for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.

“Opioid-related overdoses were five times higher in 2016 than 1999 and are the leading cause of accidental death in this country, surpassing fatal car accidents,” said Tacoma Deputy Mayor Conor McCarthy. “It is critical that we work together locally, regionally and nationally to find effective and sustainable ways of addressing this ongoing problem.”

More information on the Tacoma-Pierce County Opioid Task Force is available online at www.co.pierce.wa.us/6004/Tacoma-Pierce-County-Opioid-Task-Force.