Statewide campaign seeks to involve Washington residents in addressing the opioid crisis

In an ongoing effort to combat the opioid crisis and prevent overdose deaths, the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) is rolling out a new year of their statewide campaign, Starts with One, on January 23. The campaign is designed to educate people about how to keep their friends and family safe from prescription opioid misuse.

Starts with One is funded by a federal grant to combat the opioid epidemic. Opioids are one of the leading causes of injury-related deaths in Washington State. In fact, according to the Washington State Department of Health, more people die from overdose than from car crashes.

“Seventy-five percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them, usually from a friend or family member,” said Dr. Charissa Fotinos, deputy chief medical officer. “Simple steps, like locking up your medications and safely disposing of them, can stop them from being misused.”

The third year of Starts with One will continue to inform young adults, their parents, and older adults about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe storage, use, and disposal. The campaign encourages people to play a role in prevention through positive behaviors.

The goal of this prevention-focused campaign is to decrease the rate of opioid use disorder (OUD) in Washington State.

“Opioid use disorder continues to harm families and communities across our state,” said Dr. Fotinos. “We want people to know that they can play a part in helping prevent OUD. We can all take one action, whether it is having a conversation, storing prescription medications safely and disposing of them when they are no longer needed, or never sharing prescriptions. These are all concrete ways individuals can play their part in keeping our state safe.”

Starts with One will feature video ads with young adults having conversations about the risks of misusing opioids. For parents, videos will show how to have a conversation with their young adult children about the issue. Older adults will receive information on safe storage and disposal, as well as how to safely store medications in the home.

The Starts with One website,, will house new materials, including tools, videos, and articles. A Spanish version of the website is also in development.

Starts with One focuses on simple steps to help prevent opioid misuse,” said Kennedy Soileau, HCA’s Deputy chief communications officer. By modeling behaviors like having a conversation, locking up and taking back unused opioids, and never sharing medications, people can take ownership of helping to minimize opioid use disorder.”

To learn more about the Starts with One campaign, go to

To connect with HCA visit: Facebook, Twitter,

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