State officials open addiction program at Western Massachusetts Hospital

The new 8,000 square foot unit took 5 months to complete

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Westfield, Mass. (WWLP) – State and local officials toured the newly opened 30-bed women’s unit at Western Massachusetts Hospital in Westfield on Thursday, which is used to treat substance use disorder.

According to a news release from Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Gandara Esperanza Women’s Transitional Support Services Program has already treated more than 65 women. The short-term residential program help women who need, “a safe and structured environment to support their recovery process after detoxification.”

“Earlier this year, we were proud to enact landmark legislation including the first law in the nation to limit first time adult opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply, and other important prevention and education provisions recommended by our opioid working group,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We’re pleased to see this program move forward as we continue to expand the tools and resources available to those fighting this epidemic.”

The new 8,000 square foot unit took 5 months to complete, MassDPH said. The unit includes the following:

  • Double and triple bedrooms
  • Private treatment spaces
  • A dining room, a lounge
  • A secure intake area
  • An art room
  • Indoor and outdoor recreation areas

“Our administration is committed to providing opioid addiction treatment options which support the needs of every person struggling with addiction,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Women with substance misuse disorders deserve treatment, support and recovery services in the same dignified medical setting that individuals with any other chronic condition receive.”

The MassDPH said 45 beds at Taunton State Hospital and 28 beds at Shattuck State Hospital were added earlier this year to treat women committed under Section 35. They said, “The Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) budget includes $160.9 million in opioid prevention services, which includes $1.34 million in funding to support the Gandara Esperanza Women’s program.”

“The Gandara Esperanza Women’s Transitional Support Services Program cultivates healing by offering hope for women with addictions to continue their treatment and recovery in the community,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary for Health and Human Services and Chair of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group. “We are pleased to partner with Gandara‘s team who are passionate about helping women recover from substance misuse.”

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