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Harrington HealthCare to open Addiction Immediate Care Center

WEBSTER, MA, November 3, 2020 – Harrington HealthCare System has opened an Addiction Immediate Care (AIC) center to provide immediate treatment and ongoing comprehensive care for individuals suffering with alcohol and substance use disorders. The center, located on the Harrington HealthCare at Webster campus, is the first facility of its kind in Massachusetts and nearby Connecticut.

“The Addiction Immediate Care center is unlike any other substance use treatment facility in the state or the region because it provides immediate access to a full range of treatment for any type of alcohol or substance use disorder, all in one place,” said Harrington HealthCare System (HHS) President and CEO Ed Moore. “We are so proud to add this unique facility as a key entry point to our existing continuous care model of addiction treatment. We believe it will help to both save and change the lives of many people in the communities we serve by allowing them to better access the care they need right at the moment when they’re ready to do so.”

Moore says the opening of the AIC center, which has been in the works for nearly a year, is particularly important now due to the spike in substance use disorders and relapses caused by the extreme stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AIC offers rapid assessment of patients suffering from alcohol and substance use disorders, with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) beginning within 24 hours in most cases. After the initial assessment is completed, the center will continue to provide patients with comprehensive care and support throughout the recovery process.

Addiction Immediate Care is not intended for the treatment of overdose. Anyone suspected of suffering an overdose should seek care at the Emergency Department right away. Rapid entry into addiction treatment can then be provided by AIC.

In addition to ongoing management of therapeutic medications for the treatment of addictions such as Suboxone, Vivitrol, methadone and naltrexone, the center will require that patients also engage in supportive therapies. These may include evaluation and treatment of related mental health disorders, individual counseling, support groups, and seamless integration with Harrington’s Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization Programs, based on need.

HHS Vice President of Behavioral Health Services, Gregory Mirhej says that this combination of rapid access to treatment and comprehensive continuum of care is crucial to helping people successfully overcome addiction.

“Unlike people with other urgent medical conditions, individuals with substance use disorders historically have not been able to access immediate or comprehensive care in one place,” Mirhej said. “At most outpatient addiction clinics patients may sometimes wait two to four weeks to be seen, and often the clinics don’t offer the full scope of treatment necessary for full recovery. This creates a slow and fractured system of care that makes it much more difficult for patients to follow through with all the treatment they need, resulting in progression of the disease and an increased risk of overdose and death.”

Mirhej says AIC was designed based on an urgent care model of treatment to close those gaps in care for patients. The center’s location on the Harrington HealthCare at Webster campus was chosen because of its convenience to both southern Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut communities served by HHS, and due to the availability of other supportive services on the campus including an Intensive Outpatient Program, Partial Hospitalization Program, Emergency Department, Lab and primary care offices.

Anyone seeking treatment for a substance use disorder can call 508-949-8981 during open clinic hours to make an appointment to be seen within 24 hours. The center is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. All Massachusetts and Connecticut insurance plans are accepted. Those without insurance will be charged a sliding-scale fee based on income.

More information about the AIC and updates about the center’s opening can be found on the HHS website at harringtonhospital.org/AIC.