LYNNWOOD, Wash. – More than 140 Americans die each day from overdosing on drugs, according to President Donald Trump’s commission on combating drug addiction.
In a draft report released Monday, the commission asks the president to declare the opioid crisis a national emergency.
It also suggests putting overdose-reversing drugs into the hands of cops across the country and require naloxone be prescribed side-by-side with high-risk drugs. The report also said the declaration could cut red tape and rapidly expand treatment capacity across the country.
Locally, the number of treatment beds in Snohomish County are about to double. In a couple weeks the Evergreen Recovery Center plans to open 16 more rooms at a new detox center in Lynnwood
One young mother who recently completed addiction treatment told Q13 News she felt lucky to find a spot in detox because there aren’t enough beds to meet the demand.
“I wanted to be pregnant, I wanted to be mom but I wasn’t ready to get clean,” said 29-year-old Amber Petersen.
She said she tried to kick heroin, meth, opioids and pot several times but it didn’t stick. She relapsed, became homeless and then pregnant with her son, Jaxzen, but she had to lose him before hitting rock bottom.
“So this is the part that kills me,” she said. “I didn’t even cry when my son got taken away because I was high. My dreams got ripped out of my arms and I didn’t even cry because I was on meth.”
Amber spent about a week at Evergreen’s Everett campus getting sober. She’s now in transitional housing and Jaxzen is back in her life.
“If you would have asked me eight months ago that I’d be sitting here, there’s no way,” said Petersen.
“We work hard to catch these women early in their pregnancy,” said Evergreen Recovery Centers CEO Linda Grant.
Grant’s staff are busy putting the finishing touches on its new Lynnwood detox facility.
Grant said the 16 new beds will double the county’s treatment capacity and help save lives.
“That means a thousand more people a year will be getting a chance to start a recovery plan,” said Grant.
Grant said Evergreen also participates in clinical trials, looking for evidenced-based addiction treatments that actually work.
But she said even with the Lynnwood expansion, there aren’t enough beds to meet the sheer volume of addicts who want treatment.
“We get about 30 calls a day that we really can’t admit, who are ready right now,” she said.
Petersen said Evergreen saved her life and she now gets to be the mother she always wanted to be. She also wants others to know recovery is possible no matter how dark the days become.
“There are other moms, there are other women in recovery and there are other people that are willing to reach out that hand and pull you out of that ditch,” said Petersen.