Office of the County Manager

Needs Assessment & Priority Areas

The purpose of the Washoe County Opioid Use Community Needs Assessment 2023-2025 (Needs Assessment) was to present available information on trends, gaps, and needs pertaining to opioid use in Washoe County, to provide recommendations, and propose an action plan for the allocation of opioid litigation funds to ameliorate harms of opioid use. The 2021 Nevada Legislature passed Senate Bill 390 (SB390), an act relating to behavioral health; providing for the establishment of a suicide prevention and crisis hotline; establishment of the Fund for a Resilient Nevada; and establishing guidance for state, local, or tribal governmental entities to address the impact of opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders. SB390 is one of many efforts in Nevada to address the opioid crisis which is responsible for many of the over 107,000 overdose and drug poisoning deaths in the United States in 2021.  

The Needs Assessment was conducted using community-based participatory practice (CBPP). CBPP is frequently used by governmental agencies to inspire participation and collaboration with community stakeholders. 

Secondary data were provided by the state and local stakeholders and primary data were collected through key informant interviews and a community survey and analyzed to better understand regional trends related to opioid use/misuse. 


The 2023-2025 Needs Assessment outlines five priority recommendations for funding. 

  • Ensure funding for the array of opioid use disorder treatment services for uninsured and underinsured Washoe county residents. 
  • Initiating buprenorphine in the emergency department, as well as during inpatient hospital stays, and care navigators to assist with setting up outpatient resources for continued care and management. 
  • Use a multidisciplinary approach to providing overdose prevention outreach and education, inclusive of under resourced communities, such as BIPOC communities, in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner (organizations, media, churches). 
  • Implement child welfare best practices for supporting families impacted by substance use. 
  • Increase detoxification and short-term rehabilitation program capacity. 


For more information on the Needs Assessment and detailed findings, please refer to: 

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