Boston’s Need for Opioid Treatment
Over the past five years, Boston, Massachusetts was known as being at the center of the opioid crisis. In fact, even before the U.S. epidemic, certain areas in Boston had already seen a huge spike in overdose deaths. Locals know that the intersection of Massachusetts Ave and Melnea Cass Blvd is where Boston’s epidemic began in 2003.
Since then, this area has become the epicenter of shelters, methadone and suboxone clinics. Nicknamed “Methadone Mile,” police officers believe this high traffic area is an ideal target for drug dealers. So many people flock there seeking drugs, struggling with addiction, or just to use drugs.
Massachusetts Opioid Overdose
Earlier this year, Massachusetts health officials released data showing that overdose deaths decreased by 8.3% in 2017. This is the first time there’s been a decrease in the state since the start of the nation’s opioid crisis. In particular, the number of overdose deaths went from 2,155 in 2016 to 1,977 in 2017.
State officials attribute this decrease to the widespread effort to use and distribute naloxone. This is a life-saving overdose reversal drug that works solely for opioids. Police and firefighters have the drug on hand and pharmacies sell it without a prescription. Although it’s a step in the right direction, officials don’t have data on the number of users to survive and seek treatment or who still suffer from opioid addiction.
Boston’s Effort to Combat the Heroin Crisis
In 2017, a new program called Supportive Place for Observation and Treatment (SPOT) opened in Boston’s Methadone Mile. This program offers drug users a place to come while “high” for monitoring and access to naloxone, if necessary. Nurses monitor the users and administer naloxone at the sign of an overdose to revive the victim. Many people even bring in users for revival after injecting heroin on the street and immediately overdosing.
Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT) is easy for users to find in Boston. There are plenty of clinics and inpatient rehabs offering this treatment modality. MAT consists of physicians prescribing opioid replacement medications to curb cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone and methadone are the most well known, but many users have unrealistic expectations while taking these medications.
Opioid Treatment in Boston
While MAT is easy to come by, the prescribed medications are opioids themselves. These drugs come with their own side effects and long-lasting withdrawal syndrome. Many patients believe they will easily be able to come off these medications once ready, however, that is rarely the case. In addition, there are few options for detox other than tapering down slowly.
Unfortunately, successful opioid detox options are far and few in-between. Some inpatient rehabs offer 30-day detox options. Generally, the staff offers minimal supervision to clients while they suffer through the full extent of the withdrawal. Some rehabs have physicians to provide medications to decrease anxiety and help clients sleep. However, the facilities are residential and don’t offer medical support to assist with the physical regulation. This form of detox is very ineffective and clients often discharge early because they can’t tolerate the days or weeks of symptoms. As a result, users are at greater risk for relapse and overdose.
Medical Detox and Rapid Opioid Detox
The Waismann Method® is one of the only facilities offering medical detox options for high levels of Suboxone and Methadone. We have been successfully detoxing patients off all forms of opioids for two decades. Boston residents fly to Southern California because we offer an unparalleled treatment program using the latest medical science. We provide rapid detox and medical detox options in a full service, accredited hospital. This is the safest and most comfortable way to detox and patients have access to the full range of medical specialists, if necessary.
The multi-certified medical director, Dr. Lowenstein, provides individualized treatment to each patient. He customizes each treatment plan based on a thorough assessment and pre-examination. Therefore, there are no pre-set protocols and each patient receives treatment based on their specific medical, physiological and emotional needs. If you would like to learn more or receive a confidential assessment, call us today.