BHA General FAQ

Yes.  Research shows that treatment for substance use disorders works to reduce and stop use and the negative consequences.  Addiction is a serious disease that not only harms individuals and families, but the entire community.  The good news is that treatment and recovery programs have provided hope, healing and a new life to thousands of people in Washington and across the nation. 

DBHR invests in treatment services that are evidence-based, and delivered by certified treatment agencies. Certified agencies meet established standards for providing effective services, which includes individual treatment plans to meet specific needs.  Specialized treatment services are available for adolescents, pregnant and parenting women (and their children), members of minority populations, and those with disabilities. 

Treatment also saves public spending on emergency medical care, unemployment and criminal justice. Like any chronic health condition, early and ongoing treatment, and recovery support, are important for long-term health.

First, it's important to understand addiction, and treat it with the same urgency as any other chronic and disabling disease. Anyone can develop addiction, but some people are at higher risk, such as those with a family history, and people who begin using alcohol or other drugs before their bodies and brains are developed. Next, help loved ones see that they need help, hold them accountable, and support them throughout treatment. More tips for intervening can be found in this guide: Helping someone who might have a drug or alcohol problem.

Visit our substance use treatment services page for information about accessing services:  

You can also get free referrals to treatment and recovery resources, and 24-hour emotional support, contact the Washington Recovery Help Line at 1-866-789-1511 or  Teen Link help line for teens:  866-833-6546 or

  • Treatment for substance use disorders is covered in all private and employer-sponsored health plans under the Affordable Care Act.
  • If you are enrolled in a state-funded health insurance plan through Apple Health/Medicaid, you will contact a treatment agency directly for setting up your care.  You do not need a referral from your managed care plan, because this type of health care is funded directly by Medicaid.
  • If you are low-income and need help paying for treatment, you can apply for Apple Health/Medicaid at