Olympia, county to discuss drugs

Council, Commission to gather Monday; heroin, discarded needles will be in spotlight

lpemberton@theolympian.comJanuary 5, 2014 

The Olympia City Council and the Thurston County Commission will hold a joint work session Monday.

“The Olympia City Council asked for the commissioners to help on a growing problem of drugs and discarded needles in our downtown,” City Manager Steve Hall said. “… Especially the needles that we’re finding in our downtown and even in our parks.”

The 5:30 p.m. meeting will include presentations about the prevalence of drugs in the area, as well as information on resources and treatment, said Don Sloma, director of Thurston County Public Health and Social Services.

“Heroin is the largest share and the most visible uptick we’ve seen,” he said, adding that the meeting also will cover information about other drug use.

City officials asked that county officials provide information on several issues including needle exchange programs, drug treatment resources and work by the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force.

“We understand that this issue is bigger than the county and acknowledge there are many aspects of this issue,” Hall wrote in a memo to county officials.

“Nonetheless, we are eager to learn about the issues and the role that the county and others are doing to address the problem. And we are willing to do our part within a regional strategy to improve the situation.”

If you go

The Olympia City Council and the Thurston County Commission will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Thurston County Courthouse, Building 1, Room 280, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia. The topic of the meeting will be drugs and discarded needles in the area, particularly downtown Olympia. For more information, call the city of Olympia’s executive office at 360-753-8447.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

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