The number of homeless deaths in Seattle is rising to a record number – and more than half are due to fentanyl overdoses

Officials say the number of homeless deaths has risen to a record number in 2022, and half of them involved a fentanyl overdose.

According to a, 310 homeless people died in the Seattle area counting from the Office of the King County Medical Examiner reported from the Seattle Times.

That’s 65% more than the number of homeless deaths in Seattle in 2021 and far more than the previous record of 195 homeless deaths in Seattle set in 2018.

Of these, more than half were fentanyl overdoses.

Another 18 homeless people died from homicide in the Seattle area, a number double the 2021 figure.

10 homeless people died from exposure to hyperthermia in 2022, while suicide claimed the lives of seven homeless people.

The Seattle Times reported that many of those who died from fentanyl had other drugs in their systems, including methamphetamines or cocaine.

A Public Health – Seattle & King County report found that fentanyl was involved in 70% of all confirmed overdose deaths in the county in November 2022.

A point-in-time census in 2022 found that 13,368 homeless people lived in the county. A homelessness valuation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that Washington state has the second-highest number of homeless people after California.

In 2022, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, sketched a motion for the state legislature to approve $4 billion to help alleviate the state’s homeless crisis. The plan would need voter approval, but would entail building 7,500 affordable housing units and preserving another 2,700 housing units.

“We can’t fix homelessness unless we build more housing,” Inslee said at the time.

Here is more about homeless deaths from fentanyl:

Fentanyl Drives Record Number of Homeless Deaths in Seattle

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Laura Coffey

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