Addiction Campuses, a company based in Brentwood, Tenn., offering comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment programs at facilities around the country has opened its fourth national location in Cummington, Mass., called Swift River.
The company, which specializes in alcohol, illegal drug and prescription drug addiction treatment, has three other facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Texas, according to the company’s Web site.
“There is a real addiction – especially opioid – epidemic going on in the Northeast, but frankly, it’s really over the entire country,” said Swift River CEO Mark Lancet, MA, NCC, LADC, LPC. “There is a lot a lot of interest because there are a lot of underserved people across the country, and particularly in this geographic region and we wanted to fill that void.”
Swift River opened doors to its first clients in October 2016 on 600 acres in the Berkshire Mountains along the Swift River. As of early January, there were 27 patients at the facility, said Lancet.
It has a license for 48 beds – 16 for detox, 32 for the residential program. The facility is also licensed to provide outpatient care, Lancet said.
“Our primary focus is on working with individuals who have co-occurring disorders, which is mental health concerns as well as addiction,” he said. “They are often the opposite side of the same coin. We can’t really effectively treat one without treating the other.”
Lancet said addiction and mental health treatment has historically been segregated. “There was very little collaboration and cross treatment and cross training,” he said. “The reality is that this is the clientele we are trying to help – folks who have both diseases and both disorders.”
Swift River offers wilderness therapy, CBT, dual-diagnosis treatment and individual counseling, according to the campus’ Web site. The facility offers a library, music hall, fitness center, and more. The campus, which was a school and treatment setting for youth that closed a few years ago, was renovated before opening as Swift River.
“We are a very welcoming, nurturing, therapeutic facility,” Lancet said. “We literally meet [clients] where they are at. No one gets judged here. We do our very best to maximize their ability to achieve recovery, because for myself, I have no vested interest in having them come back time after time after time. We want to do the very best we can so we can save people’s lives and improve their overall quality of life.”
Swift River has 70 mostly full-time staff including a primary therapist, counselors, case managers, recovery coaches, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, a medical director, a director of operations, maintenance, housekeeping and food service employees – including an executive chef, Lancet said.
It is staffed 24/7. “We have a very diverse staff culturally and ethnically which is important because we want to be reflective of the population in general,” he said.
Patients who arrive at the facility are first assessed by a nurse. They enter the detox program if needed – usually five to seven days that includes daily group and individual treatment – before moving to the residential treatment program.
The residential program has a daily treatment schedule seven days a week that runs from the morning to the evening. “It’s highly structured on both sides,” Lancet said.
Patients can be local or come from around the country. “People when they come here are treated like they are part of our family,” Lancet said. “They are treated with dignity and respect.”
The local community has welcomed the campus, Lancet said. “We are very excited to be here. We are excited about having the opportunity to help stem the tide and offer people really solid treatment and care.”
By Rivkela Brodsky