Volunteers of America in Jamaica Plain Part of State Program to Expand Addiction Treatment

Volunteers of America in Jamaica Plain is one of 26 community-based treatment providers that will contract with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to open new specialized residential rehabilitation treatment programs to serve individuals who experience substance use and mental health disorders. 

The program at Volunteers of America is part of Governor Charlie Baker’s Administration’s goal to add 398 treatment beds to the current number of beds in the state. The partnership with Volunteers of America represents a significant expansion of services to individuals who are at higher risk for a fatal opioid-related overdose and will increase their opportunity to access treatment for both diseases in a single program.

“Part of our administration’s comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid epidemic and getting more people into recovery includes significantly increasing the number of treatment beds available for individuals struggling with substance use,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are pleased to support these new specialized programs as they expand access to critical recovery support for individuals seeking treatment for substance use and behavioral health needs.”

According to the state’s opioid data the risk of a fatal opioid-related overdose is six times higher for people diagnosed with a serious mental illness and three times higher for those diagnosed with depression. In addition, DPH data on patient enrollment in treatment programs showed a high percentage of enrollees had prior psychiatric illness. “Integrating substance use and mental health treatment programs on this scale marks an important step to address the continuum of care for this vulnerable population,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “These community programs will allow us to remove barriers to treatment for people with co-occurring disorders and provide them with a structured, 24-hour residential setting to assist in their recovery.”

Volunteers of America offers both outpatient and residential treatment services for individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use disorder. 

Its services include;

• The Family Center– a dually licensed outpatient clinic offering services for mental health and substance use disorders.

• Men’s Hello House and Women’s Hello House– residential recovery programs which provide holistic services to individuals with a substance use disorder.

• Shiloh House– a co-occurring enhanced residential recovery program for women who have both a substance use disorder and a mental health diagnosis.

 The enhanced residential program in Jamaica Plain will provide round-the-clock services to people with moderate to severe substance use and mental health disorders in a safe, structured environment in communities across the state. The support will continue as individuals reintegrate into the community and return to work, school and their social environments.  This includes evaluating the individual’s need for medications, monitoring their medication, and introducing any of the three FDA-approved medications for treatment of opioid use disorder as clinically indicated: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

“The prevalence of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders requires us to address the needs of these patients who may have limited access to appropriate treatment,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH.  Anyone needing treatment for themselves or a loved one should contact the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline at 800-327-5050 or via www.Helplinema.org.

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