Drug Prevention Spokane

Spokane’s connection to substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery information.

True Story: Sarah

“I’m Sarah Spier. Following in the footsteps of my mom and grandmother, I began my film career at the young age of 17. I traveled the world and even started an international non-profit in Tanzania. By 22 I was using IV heroin and cocaine, and attempted suicide. My near-death experience led me to treatment. Nine years later, I am not only surviving, I’m thriving and helping others in Spokane.”

True Story: Marsha

“My name is Marsha Valenzuela. My life began with trauma. By 11 I was using drugs and alcohol. By 40, my children were removed from my care and I became homeless. But after hard work and help, I got my children back. I am now 18 years sober.”

True Story: Dave

“My story starts with a prescription from my doctor for an injury, and turns to buying pills off the street, then to heroin. But my story isn’t linear. Most aren’t. It’s one of recovery, relapse and recovery, relapse and recovery.”

Get Help

Connect to the resources you need for treatment and long-term recovery.



View Data about substance use in Spokane



Learn how to support a loved one with substance use disorder.



Information for the medical and dental community to support their patients either prevent or treat opioid use disorder.


How Do Opioids Lead to Addiction?

Opioids increase the amount of dopamine in a part of the brain called the limbic reward system. Dopamine causes intense feelings of pleasure, which drives users to seek out the drug again and again. They trigger the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that causes intense pleasure in parts of the brain that include the limbic system. It links brain areas that control and regulate emotions. Limbic reward system can hijack other systems in the brain — systems that drive judgment, planning and organization — driving them all to seek that pleasure of getting high. This process can go on during years of sobriety.

Research now show that opioids can cause permanent changes to the brain’s opioid receptors. The brain becomes hard-wired to seek opioids to maintain its new normal. For some people, this happens in a matter of days.

Prescription opioids release much higher levels of the chemicals than what our bodies naturally produce, so they can overwhelm our system and bind to places they shouldn’t. Binding to some of these other receptors can completely eliminate the sensation of pain, creating drowsiness, mental confusion, and nausea, as well as euphoria.

For more information about opioids and preventing and treating opioid use disorder (OUD), it’s effect on pregnancy, how to support a loved one with OUD, or find data on OUD in Spokane:

Get Help

Washington Recovery Helpline 

The Washington Recovery Help Line is a program of Crisis Connections. They offer an anonymous, confidential 24-hour help line for Washington State residents experiencing substance use disorder, problem gambling, and/or a mental health challenge. They can also connect callers with local treatment resources or more community services. To contact WA Recovery Helpline, call 1-866-789-1511.

Medication plays a critical role in the treatment of Substance Use Disorder (SUD).  When combined with counseling and/or behavioral therapies the potential for long term recovery greatly increases.  Over the course of this year alone, the Washington State Recovery Help Line has connected with 875 Spokane area residents, providing referrals to treatment and recovery services.  They have created an online search tool (below), Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) locator,  to help connect individuals to waivered nurses and physicians that treat opioid use disorder. 



Treatment Resources

Click the button below to see a map of treatment resources in your area.


Opioids… Let’s Talk About It!

A Community Connected Event


See the full video of the event here.

The video features a panel of community members and professionals impacted by opioid misuse discussing opioids, fentanyl, and how to support loved ones living with opioid use disorfer.

POWER Coalition Meeting

4th  Wednesdays, 12:00–1:30p.m.

GSSAC Prevention Center, 200 N. Mullan Road, Suite 102, Spokane Valley, WA  99206

This group of community agencies, policy makers, and concerned citizens meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month to share resources and create strategies to enhance all prevention efforts throughout the greater Spokane area. For more information, please contact GSSAC’s Prevention Center at (509) 922-8383.

POWER Coalition Meeting

Spokane Regional Opioid Taskforce

The SROTF is a group of over 60 local organizations, agencies and individuals committed to addressing the opioid crisis in Spokane. The Taskforce exists to reduce and prevent opioid dependency, deaths, and physical and community health-related consequences through the development of a community-wide, progressive response that engages multiple public and private entities and utilizes evidence-based best practices and evaluation. Learn more about our plan to do this: 

Spokane Focused On…


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