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.

Three Things Dax Shepard is Teaching the World About Relapse

Recently, actor Dax Shepard shared a big secret with the world: he had relapsed after sixteen years of sobriety. On his podcast, Armchair Expert, he explained that he had been keeping an “enormous secret,” that he had been prescribed painkillers after a motorcycle accident and ultimately started misusing them. What started out as a prescription for OxyContin turned into a relapse.

Continue reading
  46 Hits
46 Hits

Spectrum’s COVID-19 Unit Reopens to Meet Second Wave

At the outset of this pandemic, we established a dedicated COVID-19 unit to treat people who had tested positive for the virus, but also needed medical detoxification and clinical stabilization from addiction. Over the summer, the unit enjoyed a brief respite as the number of clients with COVID-19 dwindled down. Now, cases are on the rise again in Massachusetts and our specialized unit is back in action at full capacity to respond to both addiction and the pandemic.

Continue reading
  211 Hits
211 Hits

Finding Community & Support Through Virtual Recovery

National Recovery Month is a time to raise awareness about addiction and celebrate lives in recovery while gathering strength from the community. September 2020 was the culmination of more than half a year living in a global pandemic, a period that was for many the most difficult stage of their recovery thus far. As evidenced by September’s wide array of virtual celebrations and remembrances, recovery communities have been able to rise to the challenge and continue to support each other in these uncertain times.

Continue reading
  308 Hits
308 Hits

A Look Back: Supporting Communities and Professionals with Training and Education

At Spectrum Heath Systems, we are committed to sharing our knowledge of substance use disorders and addiction treatment with our surrounding communities through our robust training and education program. Lisa Blanchard, Vice President of Clinical Services, has been leading the charge in providing these training sessions even during the pandemic, and is often joined by other members of our team such as VP of Business Development, David Nefussy, and Director of Outpatient Services, Tracy Desruisseaux. This year has presented unique challenges to every aspect of addiction treatment but our incredible team rose to the challenge with a calendar that was packed full of presentations, trainings and virtual conferences, working with partners to keep our commitment to community and education front and center!

Continue reading
  327 Hits
327 Hits

National Recovery Month: Celebrating Strength and Community

Every September, we observe National Recovery Month, created by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to raise awareness and educate people about substance use disorders and the many treatment options available to them. It is also a time to celebrate the advances made in addiction treatment, and the lives of people who struggle with substance use and mental health disorders. There is hope for recovery and for living happy, healthy and independent lives.

Continue reading
  521 Hits
521 Hits

Get to Know Spectrum Health Systems’ Internship Program

Since Spectrum Health Systems’ internship program was founded nearly a decade ago, it has continued to grow and expand its relationships with local Massachusetts colleges and universities while giving students incredibly valuable hands-on experience to prepare for careers in the clinical field. We talked with the director of the program to give you an inside look.

Continue reading
  643 Hits
643 Hits

An Inside Look at Spectrum Health Systems’ Young Adult Program

Young adulthood is supposed to be a time for fun, finding yourself, and a (relatively) carefree lifestyle. However, one-third of young adults in the U.S. are struggling with addiction and mental illness. In fact, one-in-ten young adults between the age of 18 and 25 have an alcohol-use disorder (AUD) and one-in-seven have a substance use disorder (SUD).

Continue reading
  593 Hits
593 Hits

Client Spotlight: Lou Falcon – Spectrum’s Short-Term Transitional Housing Support Program

Detox, rehabilitation, and other inpatient treatment programs offer strong support and guidance at a time when people need it most. What many people don’t realize is that being ready to leave rehab doesn’t necessarily mean that they are ready to fully reintegrate into society immediately afterward. Leaving the structure and support of an addiction treatment center can be jarring. Not everyone has a strong support system to help them stay on track, and it can be difficult to find a new job and establish a routine alone. The stress of trying to resume a normal life, on top of staying sober, can easily lead to relapse without aftercare support.

Continue reading
  469 Hits
469 Hits

Meet Our New Board Chair: Q&A with Andrew Salmon

Earlier this year we announced Andrew Salmon's appointment to Board Chair. We recently sat down with Andrew to get to know him better and learn about his perspectives on Spectrum as well as his vision for the future.

Continue reading
  713 Hits
713 Hits

Q&A with Stacy Desnoyers, Program Director of Spectrum Health Systems’ Medication-Assisted Treatment Reentry Initiative

Throughout all of our programs, Spectrum Health Systems has a strong and tightknit workforce. This is especially true for our Recovery Support Navigators, who work directly with inmates as they break through the walls of drug and alcohol addiction and reclaim their lives. Program Director, Stacy Desnoyers, opens up about her career path, its challenges and rewards, and her fantastic team.

Continue reading
  933 Hits
933 Hits

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Inpatient Nursing Supervisor, Kelly Field

Our nursing staff is at the heart of treatment here at Spectrum, always going above and beyond to care for clients, run programs, and respond to emergencies. In celebration of National Nurses Month, we’re highlighting Kelly Field, the Inpatient Nursing Supervisor at our Westborough, Massachusetts campus, to get a closer look at the amazing work that she and all of our nurses do year-round.

Continue reading
  996 Hits
996 Hits

Slipping into Alcoholism: The Importance of Monitoring Your Intake During COVID-19

We’ve been talking a lot about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic: the frustration of not being able to go out, the difficulty in trying to get certain items, and the simple boredom of being trapped inside day after day. But what we haven’t talked about is the fear and anxiety of everyday life and how we’re all coping with the stress and enormous change in our daily routines. Many people are turning to alcohol to help cope with the uncertainty of the pandemic. Whether or not you’re in recovery, this is a dangerous road to go down, and drinking to excess does nothing to address the underlying issues at play.

Continue reading
  1157 Hits
1157 Hits

How Spectrum’s Peer Recovery Centers Have Adapted to COVID-19

One of the most important tools for addiction recovery are support group sessions, where people can come together to work through their problems with others in similar situations. Many individuals in recovery rely on peer recovery centers for ongoing support and help in maintaining their recovery. Even after being forced to temporarily close their physical doors due to COVID-19, Everyday Miracles in downtown Worcester is doing everything possible to support clients and keep its community together.

Continue reading
  918 Hits
918 Hits

We’re Here for You: How Spectrum Health Systems Is Continuing Treatment Amid COVID-19

When the novel coronavirus hit the nation, our everyday lives were turned upside down – and for good reason. All of us hold a responsibility to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home and only leaving the house for essential reasons.

Continue reading
  2108 Hits
2108 Hits

Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Family Engagement Specialist, Ronald Burgess

We have so many talented and dedicated employees at Spectrum Health Systems, and we want to make sure that we take the time to express our gratitude and highlight all of the amazing work they do for our clients. Today, we share a conversation with our Family Engagement Specialist Ronald Burgess.

Continue reading
  1523 Hits
1523 Hits

What Happens After Addiction Treatment? Your Guide to Post-Treatment Life

Oftentimes on our blog, we talk about life before recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, what to expect when entering treatment, how to find the right facility, etc. But post-treatment life is equally as important and can be just as confusing to navigate. It’s easy to stay on track and in a routine inside the walls of a treatment center, but once discharged, it’s all up to you to stay on the road to long-term recovery.

Continue reading
  1307 Hits
1307 Hits

How Westborough Firefighters Are Mitigating the Addiction Crisis Through Education

They see them every day in homes and in neighborhoods – overdoses. Day after day, they respond to calls and provide critical emergency services to people suffering overdoses or associated illness, transporting patients to hospitals and even providing help for people who ask for it. The Westborough Fire Department is tackling the problem head on by addressing opioid addiction and overdoses before they occur.

Continue reading
  1282 Hits
1282 Hits

The Challenges of Living with a Parent with a Substance Use Disorder

How it Affects Children and What Can Be Done to Help.

Anyone who has a family member suffering from addiction knows how painful it is to watch someone you love struggle with an all-consuming life-threatening disease. Challenges that come with living with someone that has a drug or alcohol addiction include mood swings and unreliability. For children whose parents suffer from addiction, these are more than just challenges. Often times, it comes down to a child being able to stay in their home or needing to live elsewhere.

Continue reading
  1479 Hits
1479 Hits

Underneath the Opioid Crisis in America: From Each State’s Perspective

The opioid crisis in America is in the news every day and its deadly and pervasive effect on our society is well known. Interestingly, not all geographic areas are experiencing this crisis to the same degree. Region by region, the numbers vary drastically. For example, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioid overdoses increased by 30% in 45 states, between 2016 and 2017. In big cities specifically, particularly in the Midwest, overdoses were up by as much as 54 to 70 percent.

Continue reading
  1416 Hits
1416 Hits

Goodbye 2019: A Look Back at All of Our Progress

Another year has come to a close and a new door is about to open. Whether you’re currently in treatment, recovery or active addiction, the new year is a fresh start for all of us.

Continue reading
  1423 Hits
1423 Hits