Treatment Services

Services Provided by Local Treatment Agencies

Whatcom County provides funding for the following services
  • Adult Outpatient Services
    • A full range of outpatient services is provided from pre-treatment to intensive outpatient to continuing care. Services are provided following a thorough assessment during which a determination is made about eligibility for low-income services. Other adult services are offered to substance abusing people with caseworkers at Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS), people on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and court referrals for DUIs (driving under the influence charges).
  • Alcohol Protective Custody
    • Persons who are intoxicated and unwilling to cooperate (violent or dangerous), and have a BAC (blood alcohol content) below 0.40 or a history of stable withdrawal at higher levels may be placed in the Whatcom County Public Health Safety Building where they will be monitored for up to 8 hours to ensure individual and/or public safety.
  • Childcare Services
    • Licensed childcare is provided "off-site" for women who need to attend treatment.
  • Co-occurring Disorder Services (COD)
    • Outpatient services are provided for persons who have Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or who have a substance disorder and a diagnosed co-occurring mental health disorder.
  • Detoxification
    • Sub-acute social detoxification services are provided for all chemically dependent persons. Specialized services are available for IV drug users.
  • Offender Outreach Services
    • Substance abuse treatment services are provided to people in the Work Release Program and in the main jail.
  • Pregnant and Parenting Services
    • A full range of outpatient services as described in Adult Outpatient Services is provided to specifically address the needs of pregnant women and parents who have children under the age of 18 (or under the age of 20 if the child is enrolled in school. Some of these women are served in the county jail.
  • Youth Outpatient Services
    • A full range of outpatient services including assessment, groups and individual counseling is available for qualified low income youth and those with medical coupons.
Some city and county funds also support detoxification.

Criminal Justice Treatment Account Funds and the local advisory panel (CJTA)

 In 2002, the state adopted a statute (RCW 70.96A.580) which established the Criminal Justice Treatment Account (CJTA). This law was designed to reduce sentencing guidelines and create alternatives for treating nonviolent offenders with substance use disorders (SUD). The law was intended to save state prison costs by providing SUD treatment to these non-violent offenders.

Counties began receiving CJTA funding by formula in approximately 2003. The state set the eligibility criteria as follows:

  • The offender must have an addiction or a substance abuse problem that, if not treated, would result in addiction, and
  • The offender must have charges filed against him/her by a prosecuting attorney in Washington state;

CJTA funding can be used for the following services for non-violent substance abusing offenders:

  • The provision of drug and alcohol treatment services
  • Treatment support services, and
  • Services within a drug court program

In 2013, after federal implementation of the Healthcare Reform Act (HCA), the state of Washington initiated a model to integrate physical and behavioral health care. In 2016, as part of integrated care, North Sound Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) began administering SUD treatment services which were previously administered by the five counties in the North Sound region. North Sound BHO, in coordination with the counties kept the local CJTA panels in place in order to continue receiving advice about the service priorities for each County.

Panel positions are listed by statute, RCW 70.96A.580 and include the following members:

County Alcohol and Drug Coordinator (Jaculine J. Mitchell)

County Prosecutor (Dave McEachran)

County Sheriff (Bill Elfo)

County Superior Court (Dave Reynolds)

A Drug Court Representative (currently A. Christine Furman), and

Two positions which must be appointed by the County Council; a representative from an SUD treatment agency, and a member of the criminal defense bar. (Currently, Charles Christopher Watras, and Starck Follis, respectively.)

The CJTA panel meets on an ad-hoc basis, usually precipitated by funding changes at the state level or by changes in community need at the local level.

Please contact Jackie Mitchell for further information.