copyright John Clement Photography
Drug addiction is a growing epidemic across the country and it's no stranger to the Tri-Cites region of Washington State.
Partner within Benton and Franklin Counties, WA to advocate for recovery and treatment opportunities; educate to destigmatize the disease of addiction and reduce barriers to recovery for people suffering from Substance Use Disorder.
How You Can Support Recovery and Fight the Addiction Epidemic
1. Start with your own medicine cabinet.
Dispose of unused medications at police and pharmacy drop-off boxes. Lock medications in safes or lock-boxes.
2. Talk with your own doctor.
Ask for non-addictive medications, refuse opiate medications or accept the smallest amount possible for the shortest time period, and tell your doctor why.
3. Educate yourself about recovery from the disease of addiction.
Information is readily available (websites, books, articles) and you can understand it. Don’t judge people who have this disease or their family members. Causes of addiction are multi-faceted. Addiction can affect anyone. Addiction is not shameful.
4. Learn to use Naloxone and carry it if you have a loved one with an opioid addiction. Naloxone saves lives.
5. Partner with law enforcement.
Support vigorous prosecution of major drug dealers and diversion programs for addicted people who commit minor offenses and agree to treatment. If you know of drug dealing activity, notify law enforcement. It could save a life.
6. Speak up to politicians.
Demand funding for detox and inpatient facilities, recovery programs, prescribing limits and mandatory reporting of all overdoses.
7. Speak up to local hospitals.
Insist that hospitals offer drug and alcohol clinics and that overdose patients be admitted for at least a 72-hour stabilization period, rather than discharged as soon as they are conscious.
8. For employers.
Support recovery through work re-entry programs. Don’t sponsor company events centered around alcohol (turn “free beer night” into “free beverage night.”)
9. For school personnel.
Educate our youth. Invite people in long-term recovery to speak to students about addiction. A personal story can have a powerful and lasting impact.
10. Support a community effort to establish a Tri-Cities Recovery Center, similar to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.
Our community deserves a place for individuals who are suffering from the disease of addiction and are seeking short-term medical and social interventions to enter recovery.
Making A Difference in Our Community
HOUSING AND PHYSICAL SPACES COMMITTEE
This Committee strives to attract a safe and accessible detoxification facility to the Tri-Cities, develop community services for a short-term sobering or stabilization facility, and facilitate transitional housing for persons in early recovery.
LAW ENFORCEMENT, JAILS AND LEGAL COMMITTEE
This Committee aims to reduce costs and recidivism in the local criminal justice system by examining possibilities for diversion from the criminal justice system for minor offenses by addicted persons and to suspend certain charges if a person successfully completes addiction treatment.
This Committee seeks to educate medical providers at all levels in Benton and Franklin Counties about the disease of addiction and various forms of evidence-based treatment. It also works to make all drug overdoses “reportable” events for tracking and reporting by the Health Department and to increase treatment options in the Tri-Cities.
PUBLIC INFORMATION & EDUCATION COMMITTEE
This Committee maintains the Coalition website, plans public information forums, media events and training seminars, distributes public information about addiction, and is developing a Speakers’ Bureau (with speaker training) to respond to public requests for presentations.