Pacific Northwest Colleges: Continuing Retrospect Into Opioid Addiction

Continuing on from our last blog post look into Midwest Colleges Opioid Addiction Follow-up to Stimulant Misuse.

Today we cover Pacific Northwest Colleges in hopes to further spread awareness throughout regions in the country.

Pacific Northwest Focus

This important research puts together statistics and data focused on the following states; Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Accumulating Data

Data throughout the Pacific Northwest states shows which areas are affected by opioid addiction more seriously than the others. Initially taking the focus off of college students and looking at each state as a whole, we look to further pinpoint which locations are affected most. Following up on this information we will then turn our focus again back to the financial situations of colleges in this region. This is in hope to identify which are the highest risk Pacific Northwest colleges for opiate addiction.

Q: Does this help identify if addiction is possibly caused by monetary stress and the pressures of achievement?
Find out below.

As a result, during this research, we will help identify outreach and opioid substance abuse help for those in need. During this blog series will then continue with the Rocky Mountains, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast States.

Pacific Northwest States Opioid Outlook

(Pacific Northwest colleges below are in no particular order and schools may have been omitted without intention)


Population: 7.288 million (2016)

Outreach: Washington State Interagency Opioid Working Plan (PDF)

Opioid mortality increased by 31% to 600+ deaths in 2013. To battle this issue, publicly funded drug treatment rose by 197% throughout Washington State.

Source: Opioid Trends Across Washington State

College City, State Avg. Tuition Cost
University of Washington | UW Seattle, Washington $10,000+
Washington State University Pullman, Washington $10,000+
Western Washington University Bellingham, Washington $7,000+


Population: 4.093 million (2016)

New House Bill: Oregon Prescription Monitoring Program (PDF)

Oregon is taking a stand and issuing less opioid prescriptions, however over 275 million pills were issued legally, last year.

Source: KGW Portland | Sara Roth

College City, State Avg. Tuition Cost
Oregon State University Corvallis, Oregon $8,000+
University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon $8,000+
Portland State University Portland, Oregon $6,000+
Portland Community College Portland, Oregon $3,000+


Population: 1.683 million (2016)

Idaho’s Response to the Opioid Crisis (IROC): Idaho Strategic Opioid Plan (PDF)

218 deaths of Idaho residents, resulted by overdoses, 60+ percent were due to opioids.

Source: Idaho Stateman | John Sowell

College City, State Avg. Tuition Cost
Brigham Young University Idaho Rexburg, Idaho $3,000+
Boise State University Boise, Idaho $4,000+


Population: .7418 million (2016)

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Issued: Alaska Opioid Policy Task Force (PDF)

A response to the 128 overdose in-state deaths, Alaska receives a 2 Million dollar grant to fight opioid abuse.

Source: KTUU | Anchorage

College City, State Avg. Tuition Cost
University of Alaska-Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska $4,000+
Charter College Anchorage Anchorage, Alaska $20,000+
University of Alaska-Southeast Juneau, Alaska $4,000+

Low Death Rates | Low Tuition Costs | Low Population

What stands out with this data is that Alaska, 2nd lowest in opioid-related death ratio on our list, also has the 2nd lowest average college tuition.

Q: Is this data skewed due to Alaska also having the lowest population total? We look deeper…

To further back up this point of reference, Idaho, lowest on our Pacific Northwest state list in overdose death ratio has the lowest average college tuition. This includes two major universities in BYU and Boise State. The Idaho population ranks 2nd lowest in the Pacific Northwest.

High Death Rates | High Tuition Costs | High Population

Q: How do the higher populated states matchup in relation to the data?

With the largest population in the Pacific Northwest, Washington is also the highest in opioid-related deaths. What stands out in the data is that Washington also has the highest overall average tuition.

Q: Are we starting to see a trend of the population to opiate-related deaths to tuition expenses in the Pacific Northwest?

Oregon having the 2nd most recorded deaths by way of opiates also has the 2nd highest population. College costs rank also rand 2nd in the Pacific Northwest.

Generalizing the Data

In a society where success is measured by social status and financial achievement, it’s no surprise that the higher populated areas have a larger death by way of opiates per capita rate. Especially relevant is the social structure developed in each state. Because of this desire to succeed some may resort to drug use if they have not found their desired outcome.

This is not a catch-all discussion, more so a way to open the eyes of families and college students alike as they prepare for a huge undertaking both financially and socially.

Outreach and Care

Listed under each state is a great way to find help through reaching out in your local community. As more communities get involved and awareness is spread, opioid addicts will hopefully decline for future generations.

As always, Prescott House is also here to help in the time of need. Please contact us for information regarding detox and follow-up care for opioid misuse or any other hindering addiction(s).

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