Frozen pipe explosion delays access to medication for over 1,000 people in Seattle

A frozen pipe explosion destroyed a Seattle treatment facility, delaying access to medication for more than 1,000 people.

Evergreen Treatment Services is the largest single-site methadone provider in the state of Washington.

Patients who depend on the Seattle location are being relocated to their Renton facility in the meantime.

“That is our largest clinic, and this is our smallest clinic,” said Sean Soth, the Director of Health Integration & Innovation. “But our main focus was really just to get folks the treatment that they need.”

It’s a reflection of their dedication to helping those in need.

“It’s 1,300 people, some of whom are the most marginalized folks in our community,” Soth explained.

It was a major setback after the massive pipe burst destroyed ceilings and damaged equipment.

“It is a huge inconvenience for everyone, though,” he said. “Not only is it now an hour round trip for folks, when it used to be about a five-minute trip to see us.”

Hundreds of patients are now depending on shuttles to the Renton clinic. They’ve opened their doors to make sure those struggling with opioid addiction get the medication they need.

“Being able to provide that on a daily basis to those that need it is really important and reduces the risk of overdose by at least 50%,” Soth said.

It’s especially important as overdoses continue to climb every year in King County, with fentanyl as a driving factor

“The risks of not having medication, you know, ultimately, is overdose and death,” Soth added. “There’s also a big risk of relapse for our patients and the more barriers there are, the more difficult it is for them to get to treatment, the higher that risk becomes.”

They are dedicated to making sure their patients can continue their road to recovery.

“I think it says a lot for what they want,” he said. “And we know that folks engaging in recovery means that they’re healthier, and so is our community.”

The Seattle facility remains closed with no timeline for reopening because of how unsafe it is.

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