An addiction treatment center in New England is helping change the approach to recovery
The New England Recovery Center (NERC), a subsidiary of New England’s leading addiction treatment provider, Spectrum Health Systems, provides a unique continuum of care that includes inpatient detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, an array of outpatient services, and counseling for not only the person in recovery, but also their family. Armed with decades of experience, NERC prides itself on helping thousands of people reclaim their lives through its holistic, individualized approach.
“I’ve been to so many treatments—I mean upwards of 100 treatments and detoxes—and a big part of the difference here is the staff. Any time of the day, if I needed someone to talk to, they were there,”said Casey O’Brien, 26, as she played with her adorable, blue-eyed baby girl. Right before O’Brien started at NERC, her family had found her in Florida, homeless and five months pregnant.
“I’m just grateful to be able to wake up every day and spend time with my daughter,” she said, with a huge smile.
NERC’s customized care starts before the client walks through the doors, when an admissions counselor calls to explain what lies ahead, and the team starts to determine the level of treatment needed. If detoxification is required (often a necessary first step), NERC enters the client into its 5–7 day detox program, which offers 24-hour nursing and individualized detoxification led by Spectrum’s medical team. The process ensures safe withdrawal and minimizes their discomfort.
“I worked, I drank, and I went to sleep, if you could call it that. I reached the point eventually where I desperately wanted to stop drinking. I called the hotline for help,” said Michael, a 50-something-looking man who sported a beard and glasses and leaned to the side in an office chair. He gladly entered the detox program under the care of Spectrum, which he described as having “a great reputation.”
“I am to this day amazed at the compassion that I was treated with as soon as I got here. It affirmed my feeling that I was dealing with something pretty scary, but also that I wasn’t alone in it,” he said.
Upon a client’s arrival for medical detoxification or inpatient rehabilitation without detox, an admissions liaison and nurse conduct an initial assessment, including a preliminary drug screening. They’ll also introduce them to their roommate and other staff, and give them a tour of the beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities.
All inpatient detox and residential clients are assigned to a licensed clinician who will be their point person throughout their stay. The clinician provides support and guidance to develop the best recovery plan for each client, and ensures they receive all the services they need to maximize success. In addition, the clinician will work with their client’s loved ones to educate them about addiction and recovery, and how they can help.
During a client’s stay at NERC, they’ll follow a structured daily schedule that focuses on evidence-based practices and treatment models. The routine includes a variety of individual and group courses, such as internal exploration through art, mindfulness, and journaling, as well as education and skill development related to trauma and substance abuse.
- What is drug addiction?
- How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?
- What helps people stay in treatment?
- How can family and friends make a difference in the life of someone needing treatment?
- What are the unique needs of adolescents with substance use disorders?
- How do other mental disorders coexisting with the drug addiction affect drug addiction treatment?
- Can exercise play a role in the treatment process?
“There’s a certain fellowship among people in recovery, which I knew nothing about. They were people who I had nothing in common with, but in the end, I had everything in common with. It’s exactly what I needed in that moment in time,” said Michael.
Other sessions involve art therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family renewal, in which a family engagement therapist works with the client and their loved ones to improve relationships and prepare for life after treatment. Clients also work with additional team members, including physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, mental health clinicians, and recovery specialists.
“What I like best about the New England Recovery Center is the close connections I made with the staff. They actually care about you, and they want to see you recover,” said Josh, 25, who wore a Boston baseball cap. He had been abusing drugs since middle school, but with the help of treatment, went from being homeless to a man holding down two jobs.
Just as in Josh’s case, each client’s clinician will work with them to create a continuing care recovery plan that considers everything, including education, housing, legal issues, and employment. They’ll also be set up with access to Spectrum’s outpatient treatment centers and vast alumni network for ongoing support and counseling. NERC’s ultimate goal is for their clients to develop relapse prevention skills and an achievable plan for enjoying the best life possible.
“If we as addicts are still breathing, we still have a chance,” said O’Brien. “I know sometimes it feels like it’s easier to give up, but don’t. Keep fighting, because people are fighting for you every day.”
To find out more, call 844-800-NERC or visit NewEnglandRecoveryCenter.org.