New Washoe County program fights the opioid epidemic

“I can sit here today and say, I am truly and honestly three months clean.”
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:03 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Kristi Eichensehr looks nothing like she did three months ago -- and that’s a good thing.

“I mean I struggled, it was really a struggle for me to get clean,” Eichensehr said.

For 12 years, Eichensehr has fought addiction. The last few years she’s been in and out of handcuffs and using fentanyl.

“I can sit here today and say, I am truly and honestly 3 months clean.”

But the journey to this point hasn’t come easy.

“It took me losing my brother and overdosing multiple times for me to finally have that reality check and that wake up call and finally realize, I’m going to lose my life if I don’t do this,” Eichensehr said.

She didn’t do it alone. Eichensehr is the first participant in a new program through the Washoe County Department of Alternative Sentencing.

The program is called STAR, an acronym which stands for Support in Treatment, Accountability and Recovery.

“When this team was put together, the first thing that I looked for was individuals that believed in a mental health focused approach to probation supervision,” said Sergeant Andrew Sherbondy with the Washoe County DAS.

Sherbondy created a team composed of an officer, clinician, case manager, and peer support specialist. He says it’s all about meeting participants where they are at.

“Programs like this are designed to give people a second chance and address root causes of addiction,” Sherbondy said.

Sherbondy’s team wants to empower everyone in the depths of addiction to have the same success as Eichensehr.

“My probation officer, Sergeant Sherbondy, they’re all just a great support system,” Eichensehr said.

She says she wouldn’t be back on track without them.

Eichensehr never thought that she could be a success story, but with support, she’s not looking back.

“I don’t want to go back out there, like I said, my only options are life and death,” Eichensehr said.

“I don’t have another overdose in me.”

If you would like to learn more about the Washoe County Department of Alternative Sentencing STAR Program or refer someone for their services, send an email to