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In Recovery

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

Earlier this spring, a few dozen people sat in a Bakersfield conference room in front of a table piled high with nondescript white boxes, each a little wider than a shoebox. Among those was Heather Menzel, who, along with three colleagues, couldn’t wait to grab as many as possible. When the man behind the table asked how many she wanted, Menzel answered simply, “as many as we can all collectively get together.”

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

 

Bakersfield Police Officer Jaime Orozco doesn’t have to venture far to find criminal activity—less than two miles from the police station, in fact, at the Plaza Motel on Union Ave. “These little hotels here, this is all infiltrated with a lot of drug use,” he says as he and his partner cruise past the bleached-white, single-story complex in their patrol car.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

This story is part of a series called In Recovery, about opioid addiction and treatment in the San Joaquin Valley. It was reported with the support of a 2018 Data Fellowship from the USC Center For Health Journalism.

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

This story is the first in a series of reports called In Recovery, about opioid addiction and treatment in the San Joaquin Valley. It was reported with the support of a 2018 Data Fellowship from the USC Center For Health Journalism.