When it comes to fighting fentanyl addiction, there’s something for everyone

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Lawmakers Introduce Fentanyl Sanctions Act

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Fentanyl, the illicit kind manufactured and distributed with Amazon-like proficiency to every corner of the U.S. — Kern County included — is more likely to kill than heroin or any other drug on the street.

Turns out it can be harder to kick too, which is why it’s more important than ever to know where to turn for effective help.

Many factors may go into choosing the best option, but it really hinges on two things — urgency and ability to pay.

At one end of the spectrum, there’s outpatient care — more expensive, more elaborate, more discrete  — places like Synergy, which offers a range of services including medical detox, substance abuse counseling and relapse prevention, and Aspire, which focuses mostly on counseling. 

“It doesn’t discriminate on race (or) ethnicity,” said Hillary Schroeder, Synergy’s clinical director. “Someone could be going through something really tragic and as a result they turn to alcohol or drugs.”

Facilities of that type can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 for a 30 day program. Most insurances will pay a significant portion of the cost — but many do not accept Medi-Cal insurance.

Another option — locally at least — is Bakersfield Recovery Services, which offers several options and contracts with both Kern County Mental Health and Kern County Probation.

The flagship is Jason’s Retreat, a men’s facility. Capistrano House, for women, is right across Berand Street

“People come in lost, broken, you know, in a really dark place,” said Donna Brown, the site supervisor for both facilities, “They come through our doors and we show them the love and we give them the tools to get their life back together.”

Andrew Laird, the outreach and program support coordinator, said he gets something out of the experience as well.

“I’m grateful that every day I get to see a humble reminder of who I used to be, what I used to do and why I do what I do,” he said.

Jason’s Retreat client Gareth Hylla-Gotti — just Gotti to his friends — can simplify that sentiment even more.

“I’m going to give back to the community,” he said, “and my brothers here are helping me spread the word that there’s a home for you. You don’t need drugs.”

The other good news is that Bakersfield Recovery Services does take Medi-Cal — but no one is turned away. It’s free if the client can’t pay or doesn’t have insurance.

Not sure where you fit in? Call Kern County Behavioral Health and Recovery Service’s Gateway Team at 866-266-4898.

They’ll triage you and discuss options — of which there are many — from the Mission at Kern County to Amethyst Sober Living to The Third Tradition and several more.

Call and ask the Gateway Team.

All of those services have this in common: They know addiction is a puzzle that can be solved.

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