Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

ADAI in the News

Hand holding cell phone with website loaded on the screen reading NEWS at the top

ADAI’s Caleb Banta-Green, PhD, MPH, MSW, Director of the Center for Community Engaged Drug Epidemiology, Education & Research (CEDEER), was featured in two news articles in the past week:

A sliver of hope in a record-setting year of deaths of homeless peopleSeattle Times, April 17, 2024. (free link)
Fentanyl-related fatal overdoses continue to devastate King County’s homeless population and were the number one cause of reported deaths (67%) in 2023 of people who died on the street, in shelters, or without permanent housing. ADAI’s Caleb Banta-Green says “It’s staggering on every front,” but says there’s hope things will slowly improve, thanks to new efforts to eliminate barriers to medication for opioid use disorder, including a new 24/7 hotline from Public Health-Seattle & King County. 

Six months in, Seattle’s new drug law has had little direct impact on public drug use or diversionPubliCola, April 12, 2024. 
In the six months since Seattle enacted a controversial law making public drug use and possession a gross misdemeanor, most indicators show little direct impact on public drug use or referral to the city’s strained LEAD diversion system. Another challenge with the law, according to ADAI’s Caleb Banta-Green, is that it has made people more reluctant to use the new statewide drug checking system. Even though the service is anonymous and a provision protects people who use it from prosecution, “What we are seeing is that while many harm reduction clients are interested in the drug checking process and getting results, most are still quite wary that it is legally safe for them to participate,” Dr. Banta-Green said.