Spectrum Health Systems was recently awarded a grant for $898,612 from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office to help opiate dependent individuals being released from the Massachusetts state prison system access drug counseling and medication-assisted treatment in the community.

"In light of the current opiate abuse epidemic, this award provides us with a progressive approach to improving access to treatment, bridging an existing gap and lowering both relapse and recidivism rates, which ultimately, will help save lives in the process," said Chuck Faris, Spectrum’s President and CEO.

The program utilizes a recovery navigator model based on its demonstrated success in engaging and retaining high-risk populations. Recovery support navigators are non-clinical service providers that engage, educate and support individuals seeking treatment and their families in order to motivate and maintain them in behavioral health services in the community. 

Each participant will be assigned a recovery support navigator who will meet with them several times prior to their release from prison.  At that time, the recovery support navigator will make certain that the participant connects with an outpatient treatment program within twenty-four hours of release.  Regular contacts, weekly then monthly, will continue for a full year to ensure ongoing treatment compliance and continued support.

The Attorney General’s Office is funding twenty-two projects across the state, all of which aim to increase access to behavioral health services and reduce the stigma associated with seeking help for substance abuse and mental illness.

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.