3 Worcester Health Providers to Get State Funding for Substance Abuse Programs

3 Worcester Health Providers to Get State Funding for Substance Abuse Programs

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WORCESTER – Three Worcester community-based treatment providers will be among 26 in the state that will receive funding to open new specialized residential rehabilitation treatment programs for people with substance abuse and mental health disorders. 

According to an announcement earlier this month from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), Veterans, Inc., Living Freedom Together [LIFT], and Washburn House will all roll out new programs in Worcester within the next few months.  

The programs, which include 398 treatment beds across Massachusetts, represent a significant expansion of services to individuals who are at higher risk for a fatal opioid-related overdose and will increase their opportunity to access treatment for both diseases in a single program.

“Part of our administration’s comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid epidemic and getting more people into recovery includes significantly increasing the number of treatment beds available for individuals struggling with substance use,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to support these new specialized programs as they expand access to critical recovery support for individuals seeking treatment for substance use and behavioral health needs.”

The new residential programs will provide round-the-clock services to people with moderate to severe substance use and mental health disorders in a safe, structured environment in Worcester and in communities across the state. The programs will offer substance use and psychiatric treatment services, including coordination of medications for substance use and mental health — including evaluating the individual’s need for medications, monitoring their medication, and introducing any of the three FDA-approved medications for treatment of opioid use disorder as clinically indicated: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

“Integrating substance use and mental health treatment programs on this scale marks an important step to address the continuum of care for this vulnerable population,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “These community programs will allow us to remove barriers to treatment for people with co-occurring disorders and provide them with a structured, 24-hour residential setting to assist in their recovery.”

Other communities in Central Massachusetts that will receive funding at local programs include Catholic Charities in Leominster and The Bridge of Central MA – Open Sky in Douglas. 

“The prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders requires us to address the needs of these patients who may have limited access to appropriate treatment,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “These programs will go a long way in helping us fill this critical gap.”

Lead photo: The entrance to the Washburn House at 1183 Main Street in Worcester

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    Patrick Sargent is the founder and lead reporter for ThisWeekinWorcester.com. He was born and raised on Grafton Hill and is a graduate of Holy Name high school and Worcester State University. Over the past two years, he worked as a contributing reporter for the Worcester Sun. Previous to that, over the course of several years, he had stints with GoLocalWorcester, Worcester Magazine, the Leominster Champion and Fitchburg Pride. He is the owner of Sargent Media, LLC and can be contacted at [email protected] or 774-232-1223.