EVERETT, Wash. - Mike Kersey, who has been clean and sober for 23 years, works every day to help others overcome obstacles to getting treatment for addiction through his relentless work as the president of Courage to Change Recovery Services in Everett.
They have 16 beds on-site and see first-hand how the fentanyl crisis is destroying lives.
"Heroin was initially a seven-day detox and now with fentanyl being a synthetic opiate, along with some of the other drugs out there that are synthetics, it takes a lot longer to detox from. It really takes 18 months because the synthetics go to the bone marrow, so it just takes that much longer for them to detox. So I see in and out, relapse after relapse and getting them in and out of detox over and over again," said Kersey.
Vice-president Christina Anderson says they will meet people where they are and get them into detox.
"We are one of the few organizations that do allow medically assisted treatment, but we also make sure they stay clean and sober otherwise," said Anderson, who has been in recovery since 2012.
From transportation to detox to sober living housing-- that currently costs approximately $500 a week, and Courage to Change Recovery Services relies on donations to keep operating.
"We are kind of a small boots-on-the-ground organization, so we don't get a lot of funding. We don't get grants as often as we should to support the community that we show up for every single day and so it's been really difficult to find the funding to keep the program going," said secretary Allisa Long, who has been in recovery since 2018.