Council Member Bingle Proposes Mandatory Treatment for Overdoses

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 9:11 a.m.

During Monday’s Briefing Session, Council Member Jonathan Bingle brought forth an amendment to add language to Resolution 2024-0031, Addressing Spokane Overdoses, relating to the fentanyl and opiate crisis in Spokane.  

The original resolution drafted by Council Member Paul Dillon and cosponsored by Council Member Bingle, asks for specific action from the Governor of Washington to declare a state of emergency for the fentanyl crisis, asks that the Washington Legislature partner with the governor for rapid responses to the crisis, asks that the Spokane Regional Health District add fentanyl overdoses to the list fentanyl abuse as a notifiable condition, and asks for reporting on overdoses from Spokane Fire Department and Spokane Police Department. 

Council Member Bingle’s amendment would add a request that the Legislature amend 2016 House Bill 1713, known as “Ricky’s Law,”  to further require that the administration of Naloxone would automatically result in involuntary commitment and treatment.

“Administration of Naloxone is indicative that the individual experiencing fentanyl or other opioid overdose has an addiction to opioids and, therefore, should require treatment for their addiction,” said Council Member Jonathan Bingle.  “When Narcan is administered to save someone’s life, it is clear to me that they are a danger to themselves. This straightforward addition would help those who have ceded their agency to a substance.”

Adding this language to the resolution would be a formal request from the City Council that the Washington State Legislature consider Ricky’s Law as an additional measure to ensure chemical dependency treatment is provided for those addicted to fentanyl and other life-threatening opioids.

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