For Immediate Release - March 03, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Expands Residential Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Women

$1.75 million annual infusion to fund 60 long-term treatment beds.

BOSTON — At a cabinet meeting held today at the University of Lowell, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that it is awarding contracts to programs in Lowell, Salisbury, and Pittsfield to support and expand residential substance use disorder treatment for women in Massachusetts.

The contracts, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, will support 60 long-term, residential treatment slots that when operational will provide services to approximately 240 women each year.

“The opioid and heroin epidemic has tragically impacted too many people and communities in our Commonwealth and we are committed to helping those struggling with addiction,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Support for these residential treatment slots underscores not only our comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid epidemic, but also adds to the investment we’ve already made to strengthen our treatment and recovery infrastructure.”

“As the Commonwealth continues to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic from all angles, our administration is pleased to announce these contracts for communities in need,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We will keep investing in this public health crisis and partnering with communities in every corner of the state to offer resources and treatment for those struggling with this horrific epidemic.”

Since coming into office in 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has increased spending on addiction services by 50 percent, from $120 million to $180 million, and has added more than 500 substance use treatment beds to the system.

“Expanding residential treatment in Massachusetts has been a priority for the Administration,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “I have seen first-hand the hope and the support that long-term treatment offers. Programs like these save lives and help many people reach the goal of recovery that they did not think was possible.” 

Investing in a continuum of treatment services in the Commonwealth was a recommendation of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group, and today’s announcement adds to the Administration’s commitment to expanding treatment options throughout Massachusetts.

“Never before have we as a Commonwealth devoted so much time, effort and resources to addressing substance use disorders,” said DPH Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “It is our hope that these programs will add to the strong foundation we are building to help prevent, treat and support the recovery of those suffering from addiction.”  

The $1.75 million in annual funding awarded to the three programs was based on a competitive procurement and will support expansion of one existing and two new programs. The funded programs are:

  • Megan’s House
    Lowell, Mass.
    Funding to support 28 beds in its existing program serving the needs of young women, ages 18-25. This new funding will ensure greater access to treatment for women without health insurance.
  • John Ashford Link House/Seacoast Recovery Home for Women
    Salisbury, Mass.
    Funding to create a new 15-bed program with a focus on serving the needs to women on the North Shore, some of whom are criminal justice-involved, and
  • The Brien Center/Seymour House
    Pittsfield, Mass.
    Funding to create a new 17-bed program serving the needs of pregnant or post-partum women.

Residential treatment programs provide a highly structured and supportive environment to assist each resident’s recovery from substance use disorders. Programs include individual and group counseling, comprehensive case management and assistance with skills necessary to maintain a drug or alcohol-free lifestyle.

Work on each of the programs funded today will begin immediately and are expected to be fully operational by the end of June.

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