On March 4th of this year, the Seattle Times published a grim statistic:

Fentanyl set a record of fatal overdoses in 2023, with 1,082 — a 51% increase over record-setting 2022.

Fentanyl crisis in WA needs a turning point, so what is being done? | The Seattle Times

That same day, CCS Recovery Centers (CCSRC) opened the doors to a new clinic in Blaine, Whatcom County, to bring much-needed outpatient services within reach of youth, adults, and families, including those referred by the court diversion programs. This new treatment location is especially critical to meeting the needs of people who do not have access to personal transportation when treatment requires multiple sessions each week. Following their first assessment, some patients are referred to detox providers. Others receive intake for RC outpatient treatment and relapse education.

In addition to individual therapy, clients participate in groups for relapse awareness and education. Director Wells stresses the importance of removing stigma and helping clients create support systems and achieve their goals.

The Cascadia Daily News celebrated the clinic’s arrival with a description of services and profiles of three CCSRC staff: Donna Wells, CCSRC Director, and Jason Williams and Amber Rucker, two young clinicians whose personal experiences of substance use inform their work with clients.

Jason says, “I think what really made it click for me [was having] a counselor that wholeheartedly believed in me and encouraged me to kind of be the best version of myself when no one else really could get that out of me throughout my whole life.”

New Blaine substance use recovery center provides personalized, long-term care – Cascadia Daily News

The positive experiences Jason and Amber had with treatment at CCSRC as teens led them to pursue SUDS degrees at Whatcom Community College, where Director Wells is an adjunct professor. Donna is very proud of their accomplishments but is careful not to take the credit. “We can’t take credit for what someone does with the tools they get from us.  We do the best we can.”

Last year, CCS served more than 5,000 clients at four other Recovery Centers in Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. Learn more about their services and their philosophy of care at CCS NW Recovery Centers | Catholic Community Services of Western Washington (ccsww.org)

Credits: Upper Photo, Finn Wendt, Cascadia Daily News and Center Photo, CCSRC Staff, Blaine.

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