Substance Use

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) occurs when someone’s use of alcohol or drugs leads to health issues or problems at work, school or home. People who get treatment for SUD are able to overcome effects of their addiction. Whether you’re looking for yourself or someone you care about, you can find SUD treatment locally.


Finding Treatment

To start treatment for SUD, contact the providers of your choice (PDF), and decide which provider you’ll work with. You will set up an assessment with the provider.

During the assessment, the provider will learn about your history and living conditions, and if they find there is a substance use disorder that requires treatment, they will recommend a level of treatment. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is medication prescribed by a doctor to help with addiction. It eases withdrawal symptoms and helps people resume normal functioning and daily activities. 

Low-Income Options

If you don’t have private insurance coverage for SUD treatment, there are still options for you. You may be eligible for Medicaid (also known as Apple Health) or other programs that can help cover the costs of treatment if you meet certain federal income guidelines. Visit Washington HealthPlan Finder to learn more.


Crisis Services

Immediate help is available for substance abuse, by phone, text, online chat, or in-person:

Life-Threatening Situations

  • If the situation is life threatening, you should call 911 and get help immediately.
  • If the person you are with has been taking opioids, you can prepare yourself by learning how to use naloxone in case of an overdose. Naloxone can save lives, and there are no negative side effects.

Non-Life-Threatening Situations

  • If the situation is not life-threatening and the person you are helping is able to walk and talk, you can call Whatcom Community Detox (WCD) at 360-676-2220, ext. 7. 
  • WCD staff can instruct you about the next steps for help. 


Talking to a Loved one About Substance Use

If you’re worried that someone you care about has a problem with drugs or alcohol, there are many ways you can help. Don’t wait to talk to them. Help find treatment and recovery support. These resources can help:


Our Role

We work together with local agencies to fill in gaps in our community’s system so that SUD treatment is more easily available for anyone in our community who needs it. We don’t provide treatment, but where state or federal funds don’t pay for SUD treatment services - particularly for people without insurance - we help make sure services are there.


Additional Resources