Individuals suffering from addiction can receive help in Thurston, Mason and Lewis counties. Community-based organizations strive to keep the area free of illicit drugs and to provide resources for recovery. Additionally, rehab and treatment options exist for those who are seeking it.
Peer support is also available for people suffering from addiction in the Olympia, Washington, area. The Western Washington Area of Alcoholics and the South Puget Sound Area of Narcotics Anonymous host hundreds of support group meetings every week.
The fight to stay sober isn’t easy. But Thurston County contains many sober living environments designed to help people avoid drugs and alcohol during their recovery.
A number of Oxford Houses can be found throughout Thurston County. These self-run locations allow people in recovery to abstain from drugs and alcohol and learn how to stay sober. Thurston County includes seven Oxford facilities in Olympia, three locations in Lacey and one in Tumwater.
Truly Motivated Transitional Living provides housing and support services to people recovering from addiction in Thurston County and the South Puget Sound. The organization hosts 12-step meetings, offers healthy meals and provides referrals to counseling. Facility representatives also provide life-skills training, including resume writing and financial management.
The opioid epidemic has greatly affected the United States. A report by the Washington State Department of Health showed that areas in western Washington experienced a number of overdose deaths associated with prescription opioid and heroin use in recent years.
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In Thurston County, 106 people died of an overdose involving an opioid, such as Vicodin and Percocet, from 2012 to 2016. During that time, the area was one of seven Washington counties with at least 100 opioid-related overdose deaths. These statistics include intentional, unintentional and undetermined deaths associated with opioid use.
The governments in Thurston, Lewis and Mason counties have developed programs and initiatives to prevent drug abuse and treat addiction in local communities.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Party Intervention Patrol Program in Thurston County aims to reduce underage alcohol consumption and traffic accidents involving young adults. Officers on Party Intervention Patrol focus solely on preventing underage drinking and do not take other calls.
The Thurston County Drug Court Program is designed to help nonviolent drug offenders enter treatment instead of prison. Individuals in the program receive medical detox and rehabilitation therapy, but they must abstain from alcohol, complete vocational training and obtain a tax-paying job to avoid incarceration.
The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force investigates and prosecutes drug trafficking organizations to reduce drug-related criminal activity in the area. The task force also works with community organizations to educate the public and prevent drug abuse.
Mason County Public Health and Human Services supports drug prevention programs such as the Shelton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. The coalition works on projects to reduce alcohol and drug abuse in the community. Successful projects include a prescription drug take-back program.
Mason County has enacted ordinances that forbid smoking tobacco products in public places as part of its tobacco prevention efforts. The county also promotes tobacco-cessation services and anti-tobacco campaigns targeted at youth.
Lewis County Drug Courts were developed with the goal of providing treatment instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug offenders. The court requires adult offenders to undergo random drug tests and supervised treatment. The Lewis County Juvenile Recovery Court is a similar criminal-justice tool for minors.
Lewis County Social Services supports local addiction treatment programs for alcohol and other drug addiction. The Lewis County Social Services’ Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative hosts prevention and intervention programs for youth to reduce underage drug abuse and drinking.
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Colleges and universities in the Olympia area provide counseling services for students and work to reduce drug abuse and underage drinking on college campuses.
The St. Martin’s University Counseling and Wellness Center provides free mental health services for students, including crisis intervention, assessment and counseling programs. The university’s Substance Abuse Prevention program provides educational presentations on campus, and the university provides outreach, consultation and online resources for faculty and staff.
Students at The Evergreen State College Counseling Center are eligible for free individual counseling. They may also participate in on-campus support groups or receive referral services for substance use disorders. The college’s Student Health Center can also screen students for depression or anxiety disorders.
South Puget Sound Community College’s Counseling Services can help students with a number of mental health issues, including problems related to alcohol or drug abuse. Students can schedule appointments, which last 50 to 60 minutes, or walk in for a 20-minute session. Faculty and staff at SPSCC can access a number of mental health benefits through the college’s Employee Assistance Program.
Organizations throughout the Olympia area strive to reduce drug and alcohol abuse in the community. These groups use prevention campaigns, events and activities to educate the public about the dangers of substance abuse.
TOGETHER! Is a volunteer-based organization that works to reduce youth violence and underage alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse in Thurston County. The group provides youth drug prevention activities at local festivals and fairs, and it hosts the annual Substance Abuse: A Community Response conference.
Rainier Community Cares is a substance abuse prevention coalition that operates in the Rainier School District. The organization strives to reduce underage alcohol, tobacco and other drug use by hosting parenting class, coordinating Students Against Destructive Decisions clubs and implementing educational campaigns.
The Tenino/Bucoda Healthy Action team is a volunteer-based drug prevention organization that operates in the Tenino School District. The organization aims to prevent underage drug use by hosting monthly family events, writing educational articles in the Tenino Independent, and supporting youth after-school or summer programs.
The Thurston County Drug Action Team began as the Methamphetamine Coalition. After contributing to a decrease in crystal meth labs in the community, the organization broadened its focus to reduce all drug use in Thurston County. The organization hosts a drug awareness conference every spring in addition to other drug prevention activities.
Organizations near Thurston County aim to help people of all ages and backgrounds improve their vocational skills, find employment and prepare for job interviews.
Located in nearby Tacoma, Washington, Goodwill Olympics and Rainier Region provides more than 30 training or support programs to help Washingtonians improve vocational skills, prepare for job interviews and locate employment.
The institution offers job-training programs for youths, adults, veterans and people aged 55 or older. These programs may provide training in a number of areas, such as computer literacy, culinary arts and retail skills. Goodwill also helps people write resumes, create online portfolios and network with community organizations.
WorkSource Washington offers a variety of job and training services to people near Thurston County. The agency helps youths, dislocated workers, ex-offenders, people with disabilities and other adults look for jobs.
Partnering with Monster.com, WorkSource Thurston provides an online platform designed to help job seekers connect with employers. Through WorkSourceWA.com, Residents in Thurston County can easily browse thousands of job listings.
Morningside Services, located in Olympia, helps people with disabilities find jobs and become self-sufficient. The organization offers several programs intended to improve job skills and assist people in applying for employment.
Trained job developers connect participants with jobs that best fit their vocational skills and goals. After securing employment, the nonprofit crafts a training plan between the employer and employee that lasts until the employee achieves stability in the workplace.
Several coalitions and volunteer-based groups in the Olympia area work to reduce vagrancy by providing drug and alcohol counseling services and other rehabilitation services. The organizations are looking for help with a variety of tasks.
The mission of StandUp for Kids is to end youth homelessness across the United States. The Olympia chapter is looking for help with its Street Outreach campaign, which provides food and other materials to homeless youth. The organization also needs help with life skills classes, which teach youth behavioral management in addition to other skills.
The Olympia Union Gospel Mission helps homeless individuals by providing a number of services, including substance abuse recovery programs. Using Christian principles, the mission helps individuals recover from addiction and learn life skills. The mission needs volunteers to help with meals, tutoring, fundraising and administrative duties.
The Out of the Woods Family Shelter in Olympia provides food and shelter for vagrant families in Thurston County. It also provides mental health and addiction recovery services while helping homeless individuals work toward self-sufficiency. The shelter is looking to fill a number of volunteer positions.
The western Washington area is home to numerous outdoor activities, landmarks and museums for the family to enjoy.
Catch a breath of fresh air outdoors by visiting Deschutes Falls Park, Kenneydell Park or the Glacial Heritage Preserve. The Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge offers breathtaking views of the estuary and 200 species of birds.
You can visit the Washington State Capital Campus and participate in tours of the Legislative Building or the Governor’s Mansion. You can also visit Capital Lake or one of the other five parks on campus, including Centennial Park and Heritage Park.
Enjoy local art exhibits at the State of the Arts Gallery or the Artist’s Gallery. Local and state history come alive at the Washington State History Museum and the Olympic Flight Museum. You can also participate in hands-on activities at the WET Science Center.