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.

What is Addiction?

Addiction, or a substance use disorder, is a long term chronic illness of the brain that is much like having asthma or diabetes. It is characterized by a compulsive use of a substance accompanied by negative consequences, and it can affect anyone: rich or poor, male or female, employed or unemployed, young or old, and any race or ethnicity.

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What to Do When Your Loved One Refuses Treatment

When someone you love says no to drug and/or alcohol treatment, feelings of hopelessness, frustration and worry are common and understandable. This type of situation can be extremely scary for friends and family of an individual suffering from a drug or alcohol problem.

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A Day in the Life at The New England Recovery Center™ Part Two: What to Expect at NERC’s Inpatient Addiction Treatment Program

In follow-up to our overview of the New England Recovery Center (NERC) detox program, we are offering a glimpse into a day in the life at our inpatient addiction treatment program at the Charles J. Faris Recovery Center - where clients typically go after a successful detox. Pursuing treatment for an addiction is a brave decision, and there are a number of complexities that go into choosing the right option. To help address common questions and concerns, we’re sharing what you can expect here with us.

The New England Recovery Center™, a subsidiary of New England's leading addiction treatment provider Spectrum Health Systems, offers medically monitored detoxification and inpatient addiction treatment in beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities, specifically geared towards individuals with private insurance.

Residential treatment clients typically stay with us for two to four weeks. The length of stay is determined by a number of factors including medical and clinical needs, insurance coverage and selected programming during a stay.


Whether you are arriving from our in-house detox program or not, a member of the NERC admissions team will begin by assessing your individual needs. On day one, we take a look at your current situation and develop an individualized treatment plan addressing your current and most pressing issues.

A nursing or clinical assessment will be performed upon arrival and your valuables - including money, cell phones, jewelry, etc. - will be sent home with loved ones or stored in our complimentary safe. You’ll be shown to your room, encouraged to meet the staff and your peers, and make yourself at home.


Embarking on a journey toward sobriety is tough, and we have worked hard to create an environment conducive to success for our clients. Our rooms are warm, welcoming and modern, and we offer a variety of on-site amenities including a fitness center, yoga, massage therapy, spiritual and religious services, common areas, onsite laundry, community telephone access and healthy meals.


During your stay at the NERC, you will follow a structured daily schedule. This clinically driven approach utilizes evidence-based practices and treatment models to maximize your success. Our schedule includes a variety of group and individual sessions diversified to include internal exploration through art, mindfulness and journaling as well as education and skill-development related to the effects of trauma and substances on the brain and body.

Some of these sessions include Art Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and our Family Renewal Program in which a Family Engagement Therapist works with you and your loved ones to educate, prepare for life after treatment and make strides toward improving relationships.

Clinical Care:

Upon admission, you will have been assigned a clinician who will be your point person for the remainder of your stay. The role of this clinician is to provide support and guidance as you work together to develop the best possible recovery plan for you specifically and ensure that you receive all the services needed to address your needs. Your clinician will also work with your loved ones to educate them about addiction and recovery, and how they can help.

You will also work with other members of our team such as the physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, mental health clinicians and recovery specialists.

Continuing Care:

Residential treatment is just the beginning. Your journey is a lifelong one, and it is critical that you set yourself up for success after discharge. Your clinician will work with you to create a Continuing Care Recovery Plan to help maintain the progress you’ve made in treatment and prevent future relapses. We consider everything including education, housing, legal issues and employment.

To ensure success, former clients access Spectrum’s many outpatient treatment centers for ongoing support and counseling. We also recommend sober houses when warranted.

Our main goals are for you to identify the negative effects of alcohol and other drugs, develop relapse prevention skills and develop an achievable plan to move forward and enjoy the best life possible.

The New England Recovery Center™ is situated on a 25-acre picturesque campus in Westborough, Massachusetts. This classic New England town is located at the crossroads of the Mass Turnpike and the Interstate 495, offering easy access to Boston’s Logan International Airport and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island. Transportation services to the facility are also available upon request.

Any questions? Give us a call at 1 (844) 800 – NERC.

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New Year’s Resolutions for Maintaining Sobriety

If you’re in recovery – or currently receiving treatment for an addiction – you’ve already checked the most important and difficult item off your list: taking care of yourself and turning your life around. As we head into 2017, our Vice President of Clinical Development, Dr. Romas Buivydas, offers some inspiration and New Year’s resolutions to consider for a happy, healthy and sober life throughout the year and beyond.

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Airing Addiction: Demystifying Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

There are many misperceptions surrounding drug addiction and the treatment methods used to help those afflicted. Faulty thinking and misjudgments further contribute to the harmful stigma those who are suffering from the disease face.

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A Day in the Life at The New England Recovery Center™ Part One: What to Expect During Detoxification

The New England Recovery Center™ (NERC), a subsidiary of New England’s leading addiction treatment provider, Spectrum Health Systems, provides medically monitored detoxification and inpatient addiction treatment in beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities, specifically geared towards individuals with private insurance.

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How Recognizing and Putting a Stop to Enabling Can Help Your Loved One Overcome Addiction

To enable is to give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something, usually out of love or to be helpful. While an enabler means well with their actions in most cases, when it comes to substance abuse, being an enabler can prolong a loved one’s addiction and allow them to push recovery further away. Most enablers don’t realize their actions could be hurting someone they love who is struggling with addiction, rather, they may feel that their actions are out of love, concern and protection.

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The Impact Addiction has on our Veterans

Dr. John Renner, a Spectrum Health Systems' board member and associate chief of psychiatry for the VA Boston Healthcare System, sits down for a Q&A

Veterans returning home from combat are at an increased risk for substance abuse. Many turn to substance misuse (drinking, drugs, or smoking) as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 1 in 10 returning soldiers seen in the Veteran’s Administration (VA) have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.

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The Power of Treatment, As Told by an Anonymous “Thank You” Letter

One rewarding aspect of the work we do at Spectrum Health Systems is being able to see the positive impact that treatment can have on an individual’s life. We recently received an anonymous letter from a former client who sought help for a heroin addiction through our Residential Program (RP) in Westborough, Massachusetts. This client fought through the tough times and challenged himself/herself to pursue their dream of becoming an attorney. We couldn’t be more pleased to hear of this incredible accomplishment, as it gives hope to so many struggling with addiction disorders by showing that treatment and recovery can open many doors, and dreams never thought possible, can be attained.

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Airing Addiction: The Important Link Between Fitness and Recovery

Over the past few weeks, our vice president of business development – Donna Pellegrino – has shone a light on a powerful tool on the road to recovery: fitness. Working out and pursuing fitness goals creates a new outlet for stress relief and allows individuals in recovery to put their sometimes dangerous free time to healthy use. Some studies have already begun to identify fitness as a reputable lifestyle change activity and relapse prevention strategy. This is because exercise and physical activity can actually help return dopamine levels to pre-abuse heights.

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