Friends and family line up to light a candle for those lost to an overdose during the 6th annual A Night to Remember on Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Friends and family line up to light a candle for those lost to an overdose during the 6th annual A Night to Remember on Overdose Awareness Day on Aug. 31, in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Vigil honors Snohomish County loved ones lost to drug overdoses

The rise of fentanyl has coincided with an increase in overdoses. Wednesday’s event offered help to those struggling with addiction.

EVERETT — Civic leaders, people in recovery and family members of those who have died from drug overdoses held a vigil Wednesday to mark Overdose Awareness Day.

The sixth annual event at the Snohomish County government campus offered a space to honor lost loved ones.

It also provided access to resources and services for those battling addiction and in recovery.

Earlier Wednesday, the County Council, mayors of 13 cities and towns, and the chair of the Tulalip Tribes issued a joint statement committing to supporting prevention and intervention services, raising awareness and educating the public about addiction and overdose prevention.

Overdoses claimed the lives of 254 people in the county in 2021, while at least 710 lives were saved with Naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose, according to the statement. The number of fatal overdoses increased by 9% last year.

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid, has been an increasingly common cause of deadly overdoses in recent years, with the annual number of known fatalities tripling between 2018 to 2021, from 47 to 156.

Snohomish County has the second-highest synthetic opioid overdose rate in the state and the highest in Western Washington, according to data from the University of Washington.

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