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Worcester, MA

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Worcester is located in central Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. The city is the county seat of Worcester County and has almost 186,000 residents. Worcester is affectionately called the “Heart of the Commonwealth.”

Aside from Boston, Worcester has the largest arts community in the state. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts is a venue for Broadway shows in the city. Worcester is also home to the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra and the Worcester Art Museum.

Massachusetts has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and Worcester is no exception. Opioid treatment programs can help a person to gain control over addiction to heroin, fentanyl or prescription opioid pain medications.

Addiction Treatment In Worcester, MA

Selecting an individualized treatment program that offers research-based therapies for addiction can boost a person’s chances of achieving successful long-term recovery. The most effective treatment programs identify and treat mental, emotional, social and behavioral problems caused by addiction.

An individual’s recovery journey may take them through several stages of treatment. In Worcester, a person may use one or more of the following addiction treatment services to help them establish healthy patterns of a drug-free life:

Intervention Services

Many families become exhausted as they try to convince their loved one they need help for addiction. No matter how hard they try, their family member may refuse to see that they have a problem or that they need treatment.

Employing the aid of a Worcester intervention service can help a family to successfully get their loved one in to treatment. A professional interventionist will educate family members on how to convey their fears and concerns in a way that resonates and will help them to plan the intervention. The interventionist may also be able to assist the family in locating treatment services.

Detox Programs Near Worcester

People who are chemically dependent on drugs or alcohol often use these substances as a way of avoiding or relieving withdrawal symptoms. This perpetuates a dangerous cycle that plunges a person deeper into addiction. For many people, breaking this cycle is one of their first steps in the journey toward sobriety.

Worcester medical detox programs deliver targeted therapies in a comfortable environment to help a person safely withdraw from drugs or alcohol. Once a person has detoxed and reached a stable state, they can progress to a drug rehab program.

Inpatient Care Near Worcester

Each day of inpatient treatment is focused on sober living. Living in a residential treatment center gives a person an opportunity to engage with other people who understand the fears and hopes that surround recovery. Building peer relationships can bring comfort and accountability at a time when a person may feel isolated.

A variety of specialized inpatient addiction treatment programs may exist in Worcester, including:

  • Art or music therapy
  • Dual diagnosis
  • LGBTQIA+ friendly
  • Gender-specific programs
  • Pet or equine therapy
  • Religious or faith-based
  • 12-step
  • Non-12-step
  • Wilderness or adventure

Worcester medication-assisted treatment programs can help people who are addicted to heroin, fentanyl or prescription pain medications find sobriety. Worcester opioid treatment programs use Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), methadone and other FDA-approved medications to aid a person in overcoming addiction to opioid drugs.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

While inpatient rehab is preferable for many people, outpatient care is a vital part of treatment at various times throughout recovery.

Outpatient treatment may be a person’s first experience with treatment, as they work on obtaining sobriety for the first time. A person may also return to rehab after a relapse and enter into an outpatient program to help them regain sobriety. Other people build outpatient care into their aftercare plan and use it to transition from inpatient treatment.

Aftercare And Alumni Services

The most committed treatment programs will develop patient aftercare plans or offer an alumni program to their graduates. This service may include:

  • Mentorship programs
  • Online recovery groups
  • Online recovery resources

If a person doesn’t have these options or would like to get involved in their local recovery community, many towns have numerous aftercare programs as well. In Worcester, these could include:

Addiction Treatment Program Length

Some people gravitate toward short-term addiction treatment programs due to their more convenient length. Even though many people find success in these 30- and 60-day programs, the likelihood of a positive outcome typically increases in programs that last three months or longer.

In Worcester, these options include mid-length and long-term drug rehab programs lasting:

  • 90 days
  • 120 days
  • 6 months
  • A year or more

Finding the right combination of treatments, therapies and program length may require a person to travel to an out-of-town or out-of-state drug rehab program. By doing so, a person has a better chance of finding addiction treatment services that address the challenges they’re facing in their life.

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Worcester Substance Use Trends

The Opioid Epidemic

Even though Worcester’s population is less than a third of Boston’s, in 2016, the EMS opioid-related overdose calls in Worcester almost equaled Boston’s, at 1,613 and 1,694, respectively. Not every overdose leads to death, however without proper medical care, an overdose can quickly turn fatal.

While the number of fatal opioid overdoses in Massachusetts declined in 2017, the number of deaths in Worcester slightly increased during this period. There were nearly 2,000 opioid-related deaths in Worcester County between 2000 and 2017.

In 2017, there were:

  • 109 opioid-related deaths in the city of Worcester
  • 257 opioid-related deaths in Worcester County
  • Out of all the opioid-overdose deaths in the state in 2017, 85 percent involved fentanyl.

Treatment Admissions

According to the most recent information available, in 2014, there were 4,915 people in Worcester who were admitted to state-funded substance use treatment programs. This does not include people who sought private treatment.

Of this number:

  • 72.5 percent were male
  • 27.5 percent were female
  • 69.5 percent were white
  • 87.2 percent were unemployed
  • 60.4 percent had used a needle in the past year
  • 54.7 percent had no prior mental health treatment

At this time:

  • 62.3 percent of admissions were for heroin
  • 24.8 percent of admissions were for alcohol
  • 5 percent of admissions were for all other opioids
  • 4.4 percent of admissions were for crack/cocaine
  • 2.6 percent of admissions were for marijuana

Drug And Alcohol Use

Alcohol and marijuana are two of the most heavily used substances in Worcester. In addition to these drugs, Worcester residents develop addiction to illicit and prescribed substances.

Sedative-Hypnotic Use

Sedative-hypnotic medications are most typically prescribed to treat anxiety or insomnia. When used for self-medication or to produce a high, these substances can be addictive.

Commonly used sedative-hypnotic drugs include:

  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Z-drugs
  • Ambien (zolpidem)
  • Lunesta (eszopiclone)
  • Sonata (zaleplon)

Stimulant Drug Use

Central nervous system stimulants cause a person’s body and mind to speed up, resulting in bursts of energy, happiness and overconfidence. These drugs are highly addictive and include:

  • Illicit stimulants
  • Cocaine, including crack
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription stimulant ADHD medications
  • Adderall (dextroamphetamine/amphetamine)
  • Concerta (methylphenidate)
  • Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate)
  • Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)

Signs Of Substance Use And Addiction

If substance use is suspected, it can be helpful to pay attention to a person’s mental and physical states. The more a person uses a substance, the greater the impact on these functions.

As a person begins to develop cravings, tolerance, dependence or withdrawal, rates of substance use often increase. A person’s behaviors may become erratic or their well-being may begin to visibly suffer because of drug or alcohol use as well.

The following signs of substance use can point to a potential problem.

Physical signs:

  • Bloodshot, glazed or unfocused eyes
  • Clothes or breath smell funny
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme tiredness or energy
  • Insomnia or sleeping excessively
  • Loss of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting

Mental signs:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Poor judgment
  • Shifting moods
  • Slowed thoughts

Behavioral signs:

  • Acting secretive or lying about behaviors
  • Alienating friends, family or close coworkers
  • Giving up hobbies in order to use drugs
  • Risky behaviors, such as unsafe sex
  • Stealing or buying pills off the street
  • Work, school or family troubles because of substance use

While we don’t have a treatment center in Worcester, we do offer care in Cummington with Vertava Health Massachusetts.

Contact Vertava Health today to learn more about Worcester addiction treatment programs.