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.

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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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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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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239 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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257 Hits

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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332 Hits

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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583 Hits

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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929 Hits

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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1006 Hits

Regis College Panel: Addiction Treatment – Pandemic Emergency Response and Beyond

The impact of COVID-19 has been particularly felt by people who struggle with addiction. For those of us who work in the field of addiction treatment, most of this year has been devoted to responding to the pandemic and strengthening our organizations so that we are prepared for future emergencies.

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1073 Hits

Spectrum’s Guardian Angel: Shana Adams and Masks Made with Love

At Spectrum Health Systems, we’re lucky to have an external network of dedicated individuals who donate their time and effort to help us with our mission. One of those incredible individuals is Shana Adams, founder of Masks Made With Love/MetroWest MA.

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1299 Hits

2020 Recap: Expanding Addiction Treatment in New England

As another year draws to a close, we can’t help but reflect on just how different 2020 has been. It has created many challenges for addiction treatment providers, and we’re proud of the way our centers and employees were able to meet them.

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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.

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1447 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.

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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.

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1070 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!

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1086 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.

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1315 Hits