January 1st, 2017

Former hotel becomes recovery center

On October 17, Recovery Centers of America (RCA), based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, opened a 48-bed drug and rehabilitation facility in the former Wachusett Village Inn in Westminster, Mass.

According to Brad Greenstein, New England regional director and CEO, the facility, which is called the New England Center for Addiction, a Recovery Centers of America company, contains 16 detox beds and 32 residential beds.

“The center will serve adults 18 and older and offers specialized clinical programs for young adults to geriatric patients,” he said. “We will be working primarily with people who have substance abuse disorders, but our license allows us to serve those with co-occurring mental health disorders.”

Licensed by the Bureau of Substance Services, facility staff comprises six masters’ level clinicians, full-time medical director, board certified psychiatrist, part-time consulting psychiatrist, nurse practitioners and psychiatric nurse practitioner, 24-hour nursing staff and a “robust staff of case managers,” Greenstein said.

According to Greenstein, programs focus on opiates in particular. “We have specialized programs for those with multiple treatment failures and alcohol dependence,” he said. “We are also building other programs.”

In addition to diagnosis-based programs, the Westminster facility features an extensive “wellness component,” Greenstein noted. “We have yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture and a number of other holistic services to help support recovery in combination with psychotherapy. Those two approaches have a good track record,” he said.

The Recovery Centers of America operates on the “neighborhood model,” Greenstein explained. “People should be able to find top quality care in the neighborhood in which they live. It’s more effective when delivered in a localized setting,” he said, pointing out the logistic and practical challenges of traveling out of state for treatment.

Greenstein said that RCA has spent considerable time analyzing “break points,” which he cited as the moment that “people stop engaging in therapy.” Typically, there is a delay between the first phone
call to mental health services to presenting for the first appointment.

“If you add travel to that, the odds increase that [patients] won’t follow through. It would create a space for one more drug use and possible overdose,” he said. “We believe the best practice is that the patient has a single provider with services delivered in the same place.”

Before embarking on the Westminster project, RCA used a variety of public sources and private data to assess the needs in Massachusetts and New England, according to Greenstein.

The current opiate epidemic and a review of private company research prompted RCA to follow through with plans to open the Westminster site. “We saw a tremendous problem whose needs were not being met,” Greenstein said.

When Westminster opened in October, the facility accepted 35 patients; most are still in residential care there.

RCA is scheduled to open a 150,000-square foot facility in Danvers in December, called the Center for Addiction Medicine. “We took over a four-story acute care hospital. We demolished and renovated it,” said Greenstein.

By Phyllis Hanlon

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