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.

Suicide Prevention Month: 3 Tips for Helping Loved Ones

Mental illness is one of our nation’s greatest public health issues, with suicide being the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Suicide, addiction, and depression are often intertwined as co-occurring disorders. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. Individuals struggling with a mental health diagnosis often seek relief by using drugs or alcohol, which can exacerbate symptoms and may progress to a substance use disorder. People struggling with suicidal thoughts often feel like their problems cannot be solved and there is no other way out.

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International Overdose Awareness Day – Where it Began and Its Impact Today

According to the CDC, the first-known wave of opioid overdoses began with the rise of opioid prescriptions in the 1990s. At the time, many pharmaceutical companies and prescribers did not have enough research about the potency and addictive nature of these medications. As methadone and semi-synthetic opioid usage began to increase in 1999 and into the early 2000s, there was a second wave of overdose deaths involving heroin. The third wave began in 2013 with illicitly manufactured fentanyl which is often added to heroin or cocaine without the user’s knowledge.

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The Hub & Spoke Model: A Client’s Perspective on Rapid-Access Addiction Treatment

Like many people who begin misusing substances, Roslyn didn’t immediately see that she was developing an addiction. She started using opioids here and there, would try to stay clean for a while, and then start using again. It was a pattern that continued to get worse and worse, until a series of personal tragedies forced her to stop using and really take stock of her life.

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3 Reasons People Avoid Seeking Addiction Treatment

Addiction may go untreated for a variety of reasons. Individuals may be reluctant to seek treatment because of the associated stigma, the potential costs, or they may live in an area where treatment is not easily accessible. Here, we take a closer look at these barriers to drug and alcohol treatment and provide some answers and resources for anyone looking for help for substance use disorder.

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Karen Hewitt, Regional Program Director for Spectrum’s Millbury and Milford Outpatient Treatment Centers

We’re excited to shine the spotlight on another one of our outstanding employees: Karen Hewitt!

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Client Story: From Addiction to Recovery to Mentorship

Over 21 million Americans struggle with addiction, but only ten percent of them seek help. Despite drug and alcohol addiction costing the U.S. economy over $600 billion each year, there are many barriers to treatment including transportation issues, work and family responsibilities, lack of insurance, and more. The most significant, however, is the limited number of beds which often results in long waiting periods before treatment becomes available. Seeking help takes an incredible amount of courage, and a lot of factors come together the moment an individual is finally ready. If turned away, that moment all too often simply passes. The need for immediate access to addiction treatment is growing as we see a rise in overdose deaths across the country.

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A Family Disease | 3 Tips for Loved Ones of People Struggling with Addiction

The impact of addiction spreads far beyond the person struggling with it. Too often, those closest to the person suffering are also going through their own struggle as a result, which is why we call addiction a family disease.

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Introducing Spectrum’s Magnolia FAST© Virtual Family Support Meeting Series

A strong support system can make a huge difference in a person’s addiction recovery journey – but where are the people who typically provide that support receiving the help that they need? Having a relationship with someone who struggles with substance use disorder (SUD) is often an emotional burden itself and can feel extremely isolating. We’re here to tell you that you do not have to struggle alone.

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Analyzing the Link Between Substance Use and Trauma Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Trauma and its connection with substance use disorder (SUD) is an important aspect to consider in the treatment of addiction.

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Substance Use Disorder Program Director, Cinderella Stiltner

At Spectrum Health Systems, our dedicated staff members genuinely care about our clients. We had the pleasure of speaking with one of our Program Directors, Cinderella Stiltner, about her role overseeing the Substance Use Disorder program at the Appalachian Community Corrections Alternative Program (ACCAP) in Honaker, VA, and what she finds to be the most rewarding part of her job.

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741 Hits

4 Tips for Staying Sober in a Culture That Drinks

Dinner parties, family gatherings, birthdays, after work happy hours – it seems that almost every social outing involves alcohol. While having a drink or two after work isn’t harmful for people who haven’t experienced addiction, those of you in recovery are well aware of the risks associated with having just one drink.

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938 Hits

The President’s Club: Celebrating the Spectrum Way

At Spectrum Health Systems, we take enormous pride in the high quality of services we provide. We assist our clients in achieving and sustaining their recovery long after they complete one of our addiction treatment programs, by providing ongoing support and offering a continuum of services. We believe that the staff who carry out Spectrum’s mission are essential to the quality of our services and ultimately the positive results for our clients.

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688 Hits

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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1044 Hits

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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1109 Hits