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New longer-term unit for opioid addictions

Drug- and alcohol-dependent Berkshire residents seeking emergency treatment typically get less than five days at an in-patient facility.

Less than five days in treatment, then back out on the streets, inhabiting the homes and rooms where the problems were forged, receiving phone calls from the same friends who watched, or actively participated, when it all went down.

Longer-term, live-in facilities are no closer than Springfield and are booked up with weeks-to-months-long waiting lists.

What chance do the addicted have at a fresh start after less than five days? Science and statistics say, not a good one.

So it was with relief that Berkshire Medical Center on Tuesday announced plans to provide some patchwork for a glaring hole in the county’s continuum of care.

State approval has been obtained, with funding soon to follow, for a 30-bed Clinical Stabilization Services unit to “increase [sufferers’] chances for success after completing an initial detoxification program at the McGee Recovery Center at BMC.”

There, patients will receive 14 to 30 days of treatment, including behavior modification and anxiety reduction therapy, even assistance in obtaining housing, managing finances and crafting an effective resume.

“This service really fills the gap between detoxification and long-term recovery,” said Brenda Cadorette, the hospital’s vice president of acute care. “There’s currently no transition for our patients who have gone through detox.”

»Read the full article at the Berkshire Eagle