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Eye On Olympia

DSHS consolidating substance-abuse contract offices…

The Department of Social and Health Services is phasing out all its regional offices for the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, the agency confirmed Friday. The offices manage state contracts with local providers for drug- and alcohol treatment.

“Our regional offices don’t provide any direct services to clients,” said Doug Porter, assistant secretary for the Health and Recovery Services Administration.

The staff at the offices total about 25 statewide. The Tacoma office was recently shuttered. The goal, Porter said, is to centralize staff in Olympia. Unlike similar, bigger moves that you’ll see throughout state government as the new budget kicks in, this change was driven by a desire for efficiency, he said, rather than a budget cut.

“I’m not looking to eliminate positions” in the change, Porter said. “I’m looking to better utilize the resources we have.” People getting treatment services, he said, “shouldn’t notice a thing.”

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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