Medford Addiction Treatment Resources
Medford, Massachusetts, is a lively city full of open spaces and opportunities to connect with nature. Tufts University, Middlesex Fells Reservation, and a large outdoor farmers market are some of this city’s claims to fame. The city is committed to family, and community engagement is something that can be seen when you look at special events such as the annual outdoor movie night.
Like many other cities in Massachusetts and throughout the country, Medford has been affected by the opioid epidemic. In 2018, Medford suffered at least seven opioid-related overdose deaths. There may be more since additional cases may still need to be confirmed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. While this number is alarming, it does represent a decrease when compared to previous years. In 2017, there were 18 deaths. In 2016, there were 17 deaths. The year 2015 was the deadliest year for opioid overdoses in Medford with 21 deaths.
Unfortunately, the drug problem in Medford is a reflection of what is being seen throughout Massachusetts. Massachusetts is consistently ranking among the top 10 states with the highest number of drug overdose deaths that involve opioids. The year 2017 had 1,913 overdose deaths that involved opioids. This is a death rate of 28.2 per each 100,000 residents of the state. This means that in 2017, Massachusetts had an opioid overdose death rate that was twice as high as the national rate.
If you or someone you love is dealing with a substance use disorder, these statistics take on a more personal character. For individuals battling addiction, it can seem like there is no way out. Thankfully, just the opposite is true. Education, therapy, and support from trained professionals have helped countless people break free from the grips of drugs and alcohol and start living their best lives again.
What Causes Substance Use Disorder?
Substance use disorder, more commonly referred to as drug addiction, is a disease. It affects a person’s brain and prevents him or her from controlling the use of drugs, legal or illegal. This could include drugs like nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana. When a person is dealing with substance use disorder, he or she will continue to use the offending substance regardless of the harm it is causing.
A common yet erroneous belief is that substance use disorder is a sign of poor moral character or mental weakness or that it only affects those who don’t really want to quit.
The stigma that is attached to drug use or substance use disorder distorts the public’s view of individuals dealing with this situation. It gives the impression that addicted individuals are weak or bad. It paints them as those who refuse to live moral lives and who lack of control over their behavior, preferring gratification over what is best for them. However, research shows just the opposite to be true. Research indicates that addiction is something that is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, and social problems as opposed to being something that is freely chosen.
Proof of this is seen by the fact that many people use drugs recreationally, but not all of them become addicted to the drugs that they use. Symptoms of substance use disorder may include:
- Feeling the need to use the drug regularly, even multiple times a day
- Having a strong desire for the drug that blocks out other thoughts
- Needing to increase your dosage of the drug to get the same effect
- Taking more of the drug and using it for a longer period of time than you intended to
- Spending money you cannot afford on the drug
- Ignoring work and social obligations or responsibilities because of drug use
In the same way that you may be able to notice symptoms of diseases like jaundice, conjunctivitis, or the flu in another person, you may be able to notice the symptoms of unhealthy substance use in friends and family members. Some of the symptoms could include:
- Problems at work or school
- Neglecting personal appearance
- Negative changes in behavior
- Unexplained money issues
- Physical issues, including weight fluctuations, a lack of energy, and a lack of motivation
As with other diseases, there are treatment options available. The treatment option that’s right for you or your loved ones will vary based on the substance being used, the length of time the person has used it, and other factors that can impact physical or mental health.
Dual Diagnosis and Substance Use Disorder
Dual diagnosis, commonly referred to as co-occurring disorders, describes what happens when a person experiences mental illness and substance use disorder at the same time. In some people, their mental illness leads them to turn to substance use as a way of self-medicating. In other people, substance use creates the conditions for mental health issues. Alcohol and drugs have been shown to make the symptoms of mental illness worse.
It is estimated that in the United States, nearly 8 million adults are battling with mental illness and substance use disorder simultaneously. Dual diagnosis can occur in a wide variety of combinations. Some warning signs, including drastic mood changes, problems concentrating, avoiding friends and social activities, and thoughts of suicide, when combined with substance use disorder, may indicate coexisting conditions.
Dual diagnosis is commonly treated with integrated intervention. This is where both the mental illness and the substance use disorder are addressed simultaneously. Gone are the days when clinicians felt that they could not treat a person’s depression, schizophrenia, or other mental issues until they stopped using alcohol or drugs. Modern thinking is that both issues need to be addressed simultaneously.
Finding the Right Treatment Facilities for Your Needs
When a person has a chronic illness, finding the right treatment is the first step toward disease management and living an improved life. Substance use disorder is no exception. Every person’s experience with substance use disorder is unique. This means that the treatment plans must also be tailored to the individual’s needs.
The most common components of a substance use disorder treatment plan include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Case management
- Social services
Good programs will contain a combination of therapies with the goal of meeting the needs of the individual patient. This means taking into consideration factors that have shaped the individual into who he or she is, including:
- Sexual orientation
- Housing and employment needs
- History of physical or sexual abuse
In Massachusetts, rehab and recovery programs come in a variety of types. Most start with some type of detoxification.
Detox is the process where your body clears itself of drugs. For some, detox is the most difficult part of the process. Of course, detox does not address the social, behavioral, and psychological problems linked to substance use disorder. On its own, detox will not produce lasting behavioral changes that are a must for recovery.
- Long-term residential treatment: This treatment style offers 24-hour care in a non-hospital setting. Treatment can last from between six months and 12 months. In this treatment modality, substance use disorder is viewed through the lens of the effect it’s having on a person’s social and psychological health. Treatment is focused on helping a person develop accountability, responsibility, and social productivity. Treatment is designed to be aggressive and confrontational and to have the goal of helping an individual recognize destructive patterns of behavior and make positive changes.
- Short-term residential treatment: This style of treatment is intensive yet relatively brief. In many cases, it is based on a modified approach to the 12-step program. Traditionally, these programs will include three to six weeks of inpatient treatment followed by extensive outpatient therapy. Long-term success is dependent on the patient remaining engaged in outpatient treatment programs. This minimizes the chance of relapse when a patient leaves the residential setting.
- Outpatient treatment programs: This is a treatment style that is delivered with a variety of intensities and services. Outpatient treatment is generally less expensive than inpatient treatment options. Low-intensity programs focus more on drug education whereas intensive day treatments can have an effectiveness on par with inpatient residential programs. Many outpatient programs rely on group counseling and focus on helping patients with medical and mental health problems that co-occur with their substance use disorder.
Most substance use disorders will require an initial period of withdrawal management. Trying to quit a substance cold turkey can be dangerous or fatal.
Two Unique Rehabilitation Programs
Green Mountain Treatment Center is a serene and secluded treatment center that offers breathtaking views of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. This is a residential drug rehab facility for both men and women over the age of 18. Apple orchards, fresh mountain air, and breathtaking landscapes provide an amazing backdrop for recovering from substance use disorders.
This program is tailored for adults. Men and women are treated separately and lodged separately. At the heart of the program offered here is a 12-step curriculum that is based on clinical and evidence-based therapies.
The vision that Green Mountain has is that in order for a person to really move on from substance use disorder, he or she has to do more than simply quit using a substance. You have to be willing to dig deep and get to the heart of your addiction. This is not something that most people can do on their own. That is why the center offers a clinical setting that has been uniquely created to accomplish this goal.
It can be challenging for a person to look inward. The tendency is to look outward and to blame others. This is why Green Mountain uses a 12-step program to help guests heal emotionally. Once the healing is complete and once psychotherapies have been employed, guests have a solid foundation on which to build a life of long-term recovery.
Green Mountain Treatment Center appreciates that everyone who comes to the facility is an individual who has his or her unique experiences. That is why the treatment plans offered are individualized. Even if you have been to rehab before, you will not be familiar with what Green Mountain Treatment Center has to offer.
The community here is warm and inviting. You will be given a client mentor who will be helping you along the way. Green Mountain will approach your healing from a holistic view. It’s important to help you rebuild, strengthen, and refresh your mind, body, and spirit. Some of the features of treatment include:
- 12-step meetings and workshops
- Treatments for dual diagnosis
- Evidence-based clinical treatments
- Medical detox as needed
- An on-site gym
- Delicious and nutritious meals prepared by world-class chefs
Another treatment facility is New Freedom Academy, located in Canterbury, New Hampshire. This is a beautiful property that sits on 17 acres of private wooded land. Here, the focus is on residential, medical-assisted addiction treatment.
This is a small 20-bed facility. The reason why this facility is small is because it allows for a low client-to-professional ratio. You get more personalized care in a one-on-one setting. The focus is using clinical excellence and evidence-based practices to produce results.
At New Freedom Academy, you will be surrounded by licensed clinicians and therapists who will support you through every step of the recovery process. Services offered include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Grief loss therapy
- Process groups
- One-on-one individual therapy
- Treatment for dual diagnosis and more
New Freedom Academy takes a holistic approach to treatment. Your mind, your body, and your spirit must be healthy for you to truly recover. To that end, physical exercise, meditation, and yoga are part of what is on offer. New Freedom Academy will help you reduce stress, improve your self-confidence, and strengthen your mental health as you recover.
The gender-separate living accommodations here are comfortable. Nutritious meals are prepared daily by a chef. This is a serene location that will allow you to benefit from workshops and educational programs. Recreation is available, including bowling, mini-golf outings, and paintball.
As you can clearly see from the statistics, substance use disorder is affecting many people in Medford. If you or someone you love is dealing with it, there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. You need to get help. Recovery is possible. You can get back to living the life you lived before substance use disorder was the norm.