Friday, March 4, 2016

SNOHOMISH COUNTY- Helping Heroin Addicts to Drug Treatment

Recently, Channel 9 aired a two-hour Frontline program about heroin abuse and the attempts by local governments in Puget Sound to alleviate what is now considered to be an epidemic. The program, “Chasing Heroin,” is worth taking the time to watch. It shows the problem from a personal level as well as from the perspective of local governments who are trying new ways to take people off drugs. The program takes a sobering view of the challenges that local governments face in attempting to get people off drugs. It gives some history in how opiate pain killers have led our society to this point. Is also discusses some of the current remedies that local governments are trying to implement such as methadone, drug courts, and programs such as Seattle’s LEAD (Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion). The program shows none of these approaches as magic bullets. To have improved success will take resources, research and persistence.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the Everett Police Department both have created teams to bring help to homeless drug addicts and mentally ill. Say homeless and that bring up the thought of drugs and crime. An article from The Herald about the Cyborg Bandit portrays the problem of how an addiction can lead to crime very well ( According to The Herald the Cyborg Bandit, a prolific bank robber, became addicted to OxyContin and then turned to heroin.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office recently posted on its Facebook page about a homeless man that it helped to enroll in a drug treatment program. After graduating from the program, the man is currently enrolled in a six month transitional program which gives him housing, job training and outpatient treatment. While this example represents a success, there remains much work to come to reduce the number of addicted in our society.

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office:


To see Chasing Heroin go to:

In this KUOW interview, a University of Washington researcher asserts that most heroin users want help with their addictions:

The City of Everett has announced a donation fund for people who want to help those who are trying to transition from the streets into treatment, housing and other services. To find out how you can contribute go to:




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