Drug Response Team (DRT)

The state Drug Response Team (DRT) exists to provide urgent assistance to local communities in Washington state who experience a drug-related public health event that exceeds the local capacity to respond. DRT members include Department of Health and Health Care Authority staff volunteers with expertise in harm reduction, user health, overdose prevention and treatment, communications and epidemiology.

The DRT can be requested by local health jurisdictions or Tribes and will work collaboratively with local organizations to:

  • Rapidly build capacity to identify and treat people impacted by the drug-related public health event
  • Implement evidence-based programs as appropriate

The DRT responds to three different types of drug-related public health events:

  • Pain clinic closure
  • Opioid treatment program closure or loss of an office-based opioid treatment provider
  • Unusual and/or sustained surge in drug overdoses in communities

Overdose surges

The DRT team is activated by request from a local health jurisdiction or Tribe if the drug overdose-related event exceeds or is expected to exceed the capacity of a local community to respond.

DRT assistance available to local communities:

  • Epidemiology and surveillance
  • Communications
  • Clinical technical assistance
  • Outreach
  • Policy and partnerships
  • Local coalition building

For an LHJ or Tribal partner to report an unexpected surge in drug overdoses and/or to request assistance, please contact the DOH duty officer at (360) 888-0838.

Drug Response Team (DRT) RCW 71.24.598