Spectrum Health Systems

Spectrum Health Systems Launches Innovative Program for Treating Opioid Addiction in Worcester

Published On: October 7th, 2019

New program allows for same-day admissions and immediate access to medication-assisted treatment

Spectrum Health Systems, Inc., a longtime not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing a comprehensive continuum of addiction treatment throughout Massachusetts announces the recent launch of its new “Collaborative and Transitional Treatment” program. This innovative model serves as an intake hub to provide rapid access to treatment for people with opioid use disorders while helping to alleviate pressures on emergency departments.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) received a two-year “State Opioid Response Grant” from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which is being used to fund the new program. Spectrum Health Systems’ submission was the only program chosen for funding by the state.

“Every day patients spend on treatment center wait lists is another day at risk of overdose death,” said Kristin Nolan, VP of Inpatient and Outpatient Services at Spectrum Health Systems. “Beginning on the path to recovery can be complicated and convoluted. Often people aren’t sure where to turn first – either arriving at emergency rooms that are ill equipped to handle addiction or being placed on days-long waiting lists to begin treatment. We wanted to address this issue in an innovative way by establishing a center for the sole purpose of intervening at the right time and providing hands-on assistance with next steps. We have already seen success and are thankful to BSAS for believing in our mission and helping make this possible.”

Spectrum’s central hub, located in Worcester, Mass., performs intake assessments five days a week, offering low-threshold immediate treatment initiation and even transportation, legal assistance and insurance navigation. Following a comprehensive but low-threshold initiation, clients are provided individualized treatment plans based on their needs and started on the most appropriate medication-assisted treatment program. Once stabilized, they are referred to another provider, including Spectrum’s own outpatient treatment centers, for ongoing services closer to home.

“Spectrum’s leadership sees this as a way to not only increase access to medication-assisted treatment for Worcester residents, but also as the best and safest model to individualize the assessment, prescribing and monitoring processes for people with opiate use disorder,” said Chief Operating Officer Sherry Ellis. “We don’t ask patients to jump through hoops to get started in treatment, recognizing that starting these medications as quickly as possible is the critical first step which will facilitate their participation in any additional types of treatment. This model allows clients to remain in the hub as long as is necessary to complete the full induction process and receive individually appropriate referrals to longer-term treatment providers.”

More than 110 clients have already been served through the program, having come through referrals from area hospitals, word-of-mouth and Spectrum Health’s other treatment locations.

Spectrum’s hub is located at 475 Pleasant Street in Worcester, Mass. Same-day admission and walk-in access are available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 1pm and on Friday from 8am to 11am. Call (774) 314-4761 to learn more or to schedule an appointment. For more information on Spectrum Health Systems, visit www.SpectrumHealthSystems.org or call 1-877-MyRehab.


About Spectrum Health Systems
Based in Worcester, Mass. and founded in 1969, Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. is a private, non-profit substance abuse and mental health treatment provider. Spectrum offers the largest and most complete continuum of addiction treatment in New England — including inpatient detoxification, residential rehabilitation, outpatient services, medication-assisted treatment and peer recovery support. Spectrum also offers inpatient detoxification and residential treatment for commercially insured and private pay clients through its subsidiary, The New England Recovery Center.

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