Blog: News & Views from the Field

Knowledge can be empowering. Whether you are seeking recovery for yourself or someone else, we hope you find our blog topics helpful. Check back often or subscribe today.

Life After Addiction Isn’t Just Possible, It’s The Norm

Substance use disorder is a hard struggle, and the road to recovery can be long. But research confirms that it is far from a permanent affliction.

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Leadership Series: Meet our Senior Staff Members

We have been fortunate to enjoy significant growth over the past several years, and as a result, we are pleased to highlight well-deserved promotions for eight members of our leadership team who have played key roles in that success.

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Black History Month: Honoring Black Pioneers in Behavioral Health

The month of February was chosen to honor Black history to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglas, an African American social reformer, and Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The observance originated in the U.S. back in the 1970s to honor and recognize the contributions and achievements of Black Americans throughout history.

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Shining a Light on Resilience and Recovery

The New England Recovery Center (NERC), a subsidiary of Spectrum Health Systems, provides comprehensive inpatient treatment for individuals struggling with substance use disorders (SUDs) at Spectrum’s treatment campus in Westborough, Mass. Our dedicated team guides clients through detoxification and residential treatment while providing unwavering support and continuing care planning to help promote long-term recovery. An important part of this work also involves sharing real stories about real people, to help inspire those still in need of help.

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Reflection: A Look Back on An Impactful Year

Whether you’re in recovery, treatment, or active addiction – this past year likely posed some extra challenges. We saw many changes in 2021, from telehealth services to vaccine mandates and everything in between, and sometimes it felt impossible to keep up.

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4 Tips to Help Combat Alcohol Triggers This Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, we’ll all be heading to more and more in-person gatherings, parties and get-togethers with friends and family – perhaps for the first time in 18 months. These events are a time of celebration and with celebrations, typically comes alcohol. Events where alcohol is present can be very challenging for those newly in recovery.

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Combating the Nursing Shortage in Addiction

The United States is in the midst of a critical nursing shortage – it is estimated that 1.2 million new registered nurses will be needed by 2030. Spectrum Health Systems, like many other addiction treatment providers, has experienced an increase in patients and a decrease in providers available. This shortage has been around for a while now, but the COVID-19 pandemic has brought it to the forefront, affecting many treatment and service organizations actively seeking nurses and clinicians to join their teams.

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Spectrum’s Lincoln Street Outpatient Center Gives Back

As we reflect on National Recovery Month 2021, we took a look back at the incredible work our teams continue to do for the clients and the communities they serve. Last month was a time to connect with one another and raise awareness about the disease of addiction and the importance of recovery. Many centers hosted events throughout the month, but our outpatient center on Lincoln Street in Worcester, MA went above and beyond.

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From Trauma to Recovery: Jaclyn’s Story

We recently sat down with one of our current clients, Jaclyn, on our podcast series Airing Addiction, to hear her story of addiction and recovery in honor of National Recovery Month. As is often the case, Jaclyn experienced trauma in her young life and she turned to substances as a means to cope. Read more about her journey below, or tune into the show to hear it firsthand.

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The Importance of World Mental Health Day for the Addiction Community

It’s been a tough time for many people – the COVID-19 pandemic has continued well into 2021 and the world is grappling with a constantly changing “normal life” as we head into a new season and new year. As a disease that thrives on inconsistency, drug and alcohol addiction has had its moments – with an increase in overdose deaths, and a growing number of people struggling with addiction, mental health has never been more important than it is right now.

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Suicide Prevention Month: 3 Tips for Helping Loved Ones

Mental illness is one of our nation’s greatest public health issues, with suicide being the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Suicide, addiction, and depression are often intertwined as co-occurring disorders. It’s a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. Individuals struggling with a mental health diagnosis often seek relief by using drugs or alcohol, which can exacerbate symptoms and may progress to a substance use disorder. People struggling with suicidal thoughts often feel like their problems cannot be solved and there is no other way out.

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International Overdose Awareness Day – Where it Began and Its Impact Today

According to the CDC, the first-known wave of opioid overdoses began with the rise of opioid prescriptions in the 1990s. At the time, many pharmaceutical companies and prescribers did not have enough research about the potency and addictive nature of these medications. As methadone and semi-synthetic opioid usage began to increase in 1999 and into the early 2000s, there was a second wave of overdose deaths involving heroin. The third wave began in 2013 with illicitly manufactured fentanyl which is often added to heroin or cocaine without the user’s knowledge.

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The Hub & Spoke Model: A Client’s Perspective on Rapid-Access Addiction Treatment

Like many people who begin misusing substances, Roslyn didn’t immediately see that she was developing an addiction. She started using opioids here and there, would try to stay clean for a while, and then start using again. It was a pattern that continued to get worse and worse, until a series of personal tragedies forced her to stop using and really take stock of her life.

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3 Reasons People Avoid Seeking Addiction Treatment

Addiction may go untreated for a variety of reasons. Individuals may be reluctant to seek treatment because of the associated stigma, the potential costs, or they may live in an area where treatment is not easily accessible. Here, we take a closer look at these barriers to drug and alcohol treatment and provide some answers and resources for anyone looking for help for substance use disorder.

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Karen Hewitt, Regional Program Director for Spectrum’s Millbury and Milford Outpatient Treatment Centers

We’re excited to shine the spotlight on another one of our outstanding employees: Karen Hewitt!

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Client Story: From Addiction to Recovery to Mentorship

Over 21 million Americans struggle with addiction, but only ten percent of them seek help. Despite drug and alcohol addiction costing the U.S. economy over $600 billion each year, there are many barriers to treatment including transportation issues, work and family responsibilities, lack of insurance, and more. The most significant, however, is the limited number of beds which often results in long waiting periods before treatment becomes available. Seeking help takes an incredible amount of courage, and a lot of factors come together the moment an individual is finally ready. If turned away, that moment all too often simply passes. The need for immediate access to addiction treatment is growing as we see a rise in overdose deaths across the country.

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A Family Disease | 3 Tips for Loved Ones of People Struggling with Addiction

The impact of addiction spreads far beyond the person struggling with it. Too often, those closest to the person suffering are also going through their own struggle as a result, which is why we call addiction a family disease.

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Introducing Spectrum’s Magnolia FAST© Virtual Family Support Meeting Series

A strong support system can make a huge difference in a person’s addiction recovery journey – but where are the people who typically provide that support receiving the help that they need? Having a relationship with someone who struggles with substance use disorder (SUD) is often an emotional burden itself and can feel extremely isolating. We’re here to tell you that you do not have to struggle alone.

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Analyzing the Link Between Substance Use and Trauma Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Trauma and its connection with substance use disorder (SUD) is an important aspect to consider in the treatment of addiction.

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Employee Spotlight: Meet Our Substance Use Disorder Program Director, Cinderella Stiltner

At Spectrum Health Systems, our dedicated staff members genuinely care about our clients. We had the pleasure of speaking with one of our Program Directors, Cinderella Stiltner, about her role overseeing the Substance Use Disorder program at the Appalachian Community Corrections Alternative Program (ACCAP) in Honaker, VA, and what she finds to be the most rewarding part of her job.

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