Spectrum was recently awarded nearly $600,000 by the U.S. Department of Justice to implement a new co-occurring disorders program in Massachusetts.  The program is designed to improve treatment outcomes and reduce criminal activity among detained male youth.  The new program will be the first-of-its-kind in Massachusetts. 

A recent survey by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) foundMassachusetts had among the highest rates in the country for "Alcohol dependence or abuse in past year; illicit drug dependence or abuse in the past year; and, at least one major depressive episode in the past year" among youth ages 12 to 17.  SAMHSA also found that Massachusetts ranked among the highest in the need for treatment among youth ages 12 to 17. 

Untreated co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders is linked to a vicious cycle of escalation in drug and/or alcohol abuse and unmanaged mental health symptoms, increasing delinquency and criminal activity, and subsequent incarceration.  Through this program, Spectrum seeks to break the cycle of co-occurring disorders and incarceration among youthful male offenders.

The new program is a partnership between Spectrum, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, UMass Medical School and UMass Boston.

Based in Worcester, Massachusetts, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit substance abuse and mental health treatment provider. The organization currently treats 45,000 individuals each year through more than 125 programs in community-based settings and correctional institutions throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Tennessee, Iowa, Maine and Washington State.