Blog: News & Views from the Field

Knowledge can be empowering. Whether you are seeking recovery for yourself or someone else, we hope you find our blog topics helpful. Check back often or subscribe today.

VIRTUAL TRAININGS: From Gender Responsive Treatment to Correctional Opioid Treatment

Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It affects every community imaginable. More than 23 million US adults struggle with substance use disorders (SUDs) and in Massachusetts, over half of adults continue to battle this disease -- which is why we established Spectrum’s training, technical assistance and consulting group several years ago to help raise public awareness and enhance professional training for behavioral health providers across the Commonwealth.

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Q&A with Dr. Catharina Armstrong, Spectrum’s Newest Medication for Opioid Use Disorder Program Physician in our Correctional Division

Between opening new centers and engaging in new contracts, we’ve been lucky to welcome a number of doctors, nurses, clinicians, counselors and senior leadership over the past several years. Today, we’re welcoming Dr. Catharina Armstrong, Program Physician for Spectrum’s Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Program with the Massachusetts Department of Correction (MADOC). Dr. Armstrong is board certified in addiction medicine, internal medicine and infectious diseases.

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Addiction and Long-term Care in the Construction Industry

Opioid use is uncommonly high in the construction industry, where workers face many physical hazards and are at an increased risk of getting injured. One study shows that construction workers are the most likely occupation to misuse opioids and cocaine. Compared to other industries in North America, construction workers are roughly six times more likely to become addicted to opioids.

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Learn More About Our Same-Day Medication Program

If you or a loved one needs addiction treatment today, Spectrum is ready. Our Rapid Access Treatment Program, located at 475 Pleasant Street in Worcester, Mass. is a specialized program which allows people to come in for an assessment and receive their first dose of medication for opioid use disorders (MOUD) on the same day. As the only organization in Massachusetts offering rapid access treatment using buprenorphine and naltrexone, this program is uniquely positioned to help incoming clients throughout the state start their recovery journey immediately.

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Exemplary Addiction Treatment During a Pandemic | 2021 CARF Accreditation

Spectrum Health Systems strives to provide current, comprehensive, evidence-based addiction treatment for our clients. We rely both on our own experts to achieve this high quality of care and on third parties that conduct objective reviews according to internationally recognized standards. Following a recent onsite survey, we were thrilled to receive special recognition from one of the most well-regarded accrediting authorities, CARF International, for our specialized COVID-19 Unit.

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Meet our New MADOC Medical Director: Q&A with Sharif Nankoe

Dr. Sharif Nankoe has been appointed as Medical Director for Spectrum Health Systems’ new statewide correctional program with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections (MADOC), serving inmates with opioid use disorders (OUD). Get to know Dr. Nankoe and his views on correctional addiction treatment!

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Q&A with Sanjay Grant, MA-LMHC and Program Director at Spectrum Health Systems

Our employees are what make us a top-notch provider of addiction treatment. They’re our boots on the ground, the problem solvers, and the go-to resources for our clients seeking help for addiction.

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Why We Administered COVID-19 Vaccines to Local Partner Organizations in Need

It’s been a long and difficult road - COVID-19 hit Massachusetts in February 2020. By mid-March, businesses were shutting down and people were hunkering down at home. At Spectrum Health Systems and the New England Recovery Center, we sprang into action and created a specialized COVID-19 unit designed to treat people suffering from drug and alcohol use disorders as well as COVID-19. Through the ups and downs in the Commonwealth, Spectrum and NERC have held steadfast in our mission to help those suffering from substance use disorders even during a global pandemic.

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The Importance of Language in Reducing the Stigma Often Associated with Substance Use Disorders

Words matter, especially when we as a society continue to fight the stigma against those struggling with addiction. As we learn more every day about drug and alcohol addiction disorders, we also have to contend with the fact that helpful and educational terms change over time. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with, but it’s important for allies to those in recovery to stay up-to-date on the do’s and don’ts of addiction-related language. Let’s break down which words are helpful and others that may hurt people.

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3 Tips for Staying Sober this Holiday Season

This has been a particularly stressful holiday season for many, and perhaps a lonely one as well. In previous blogs, we’ve shared advice about how to navigate large family gatherings while in recovery. Many of us will be forgoing those big gatherings this year in order to stay safe, introducing a new challenge: how to keep your spirits up and stay sober while isolating from loved ones?

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