MEDIA ADVISORY: Press conference with tribal leaders to Heal One Washington, address the opioid and fentanyl crisis

OLYMPIA – In the shadows of our picturesque landscapes, a silent epidemic has been tightening its grip on Washington communities. The opioid and fentanyl crisis, a dark undercurrent threatening the fabric of our society, requires us to stand united and declare: “You are not alone.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug poisonings are now a leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45. In 2022 alone, over 110,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses in the U.S., with nearly 70% attributed to fentanyl and synthetic opioids.

Tribal, state, and local governments must work together to forge a path towards recovery. Tribal wellness centers, at the forefront of Washington’s healing for over a decade, offer a beacon of hope. Together, we can amplify their efforts and create a united front against this pervasive threat.

By standing together and addressing this issue head-on, we aim to instill hope, raise awareness, and foster a sense of community in the face of adversity. Join us as we embark on this crucial journey to Heal One Washington.


WHAT: Press conference to shed light on the comprehensive approach required to combat the opioid and fentanyl crisis. Discussions will include treatment initiatives, state policies currently in action, and the collaborative efforts essential to achieving a unified and effective response to Heal One Washington.

WHEN: 1:00 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22

WHERE: Senate Rules Room, 220A Legislative Building, Olympia

WHO:    Rep. Debra Lekanoff (D-Anacortes)

American Indian Health Commission Executive Director Vicki Lowe

Rep. Nicole Macri (D-Seattle), member of the Healthcare & Wellness Committee

Washington State Tribal leaders, including but not limited to:

Lummi Nation Chairman Anthony Hillaire

Colville Business Council Chairman Jarred-Michael Erickson

Makah Tribal member Nate Tyler

The press conference will be available to stream live and watch as an archive on TVW.