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Learn about the types of substance abuse services available

Substance Addiction Services Descriptions
A brief description of each type of Bureau of Substance Addiction Services program, including eligibility criteria.

Prevention Services  
Prevention services can include programs that target all residents of the community, programs that focus on specific groups of individuals who are at high risk in a community, and coalitions that work with multiple systems in a community.

Regional Centers for Healthy Communities ​​(RCHCs)
Regional Centers for Healthy Communities ​​(RCHCs) help build healthier communities by addressing alcohol, tobacco, and drug use prevention and youth development issues at the local level. Community efforts focus on availability, community norms, and regulations related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Strategies for changing the broader environment include policy change and implementation, enforcement, education, and communication. Each Center has a Library of Resources addressing a wide range of public health issues and providing access to a variety of online substance dependence prevention services. Resource Libraries also have access to curriculum for psychoeducational groups for youth and adults.

prevention programs
Prevention Programs are community-based programs that work to prevent the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs among children (pre-K through youth up to age 18) and their families. Each program focuses on a specific county or neighborhood and is carried out by a coalition of organized community members who have an interest in helping their community prevent substance misuse.

Youth Intervention
The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services funds two youth intervention programs that are designed to intervene with young people who have already begun using substances and participating in risky behaviors. These programs include activities such as street outreach and youth organizing.

Residential Treatment up to 30 days  
Residential Treatment Programs of less than 30 days provide short-term, acute treatment for individuals who require intensive care and support due to alcohol and/or other drug use. Residential Treatment Services under 30 days include Acute Care Services (ATS), Transitional Support Services (TSS) and the Tewksbury Stabilization Program.

Acute Care Services (ATS) (detox)
ATS programs are medically monitored detox services. The programs provide round-the-clock nursing assistance, in consultation with a medical director, to monitor an individual's alcohol and other drug withdrawal and alleviate symptoms.

Eligibility and Priority Populations: Individuals aged 18 years or older, at risk of acute withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. Priority high-risk populations include injecting drug users, homeless people, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic medical diagnoses.

Transitional Support Services (TSS)
Transitional Support Services (TSS) are short-term residential support services for clients who need a safe and structured environment to support their recovery process after detoxification. These programs are designed to help those who need services between acute care and residential, outpatient, or other aftercare.

Eligibility: Only those age 18 or older who are referred by a publicly funded ATS (detox) program, a homeless shelter, or a homeless community worker.

Tewksbury Stabilization Program
Tewksbury's Stabilization Program provides a structured, residential, substance-free environment for homeless and impending homeless substance abuse men. Services include case management for a variety of service needs, psychoeducational groups, and connections to self-help groups. Forwards are provided for placements that support continuous recovery.

Eligibility: Homeless and/or uninsured adult men who enter the system through the use of acute substance dependence treatment services or who are referred from homeless shelters or other medical or mental health facilities


Residential Treatment More Than 30 Days  
Residential Treatment for more than 30 days are services for individuals who have recently stopped using alcohol and/or other drugs, have been medically stabilized and can participate in a structured residential treatment program. Residential Treatment Over 30 Days includes Recovery Homes, Model Social Homes, Therapeutic Communities, Specialized Residential Services for Women, Specialized Residential Services for Families, and Youth Residential Programs.


recovery house
Recovery Houses provide a structured and sober environment for individuals recovering from addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. These programs emphasize recovery and treatment within a structured therapeutic environment. Residents are encouraged to join the community and access community resources, including self-help groups and jobs. Some Halfway Houses offer enhanced services for pregnant and postpartum women and their babies, which include antenatal/pediatric care coordination.

Therapeutic Community
Therapeutic Communities provide a highly structured environment that emphasizes treatment and recovery of residents within the parameters of the program structure. Residents take an active role in this mode of care, helping them to take responsibility and become positive role models. Some Therapeutic Communities offer enhanced services for pregnant and postpartum women and their babies, which include antenatal/pediatric care coordination.

social model
Social Model programs emphasize a sober living environment, peer counseling, and case management. The emphasis of these programs is to help residents provide each other with a culture of recovery, support, sharing, and positive role modeling. Residents are expected to be involved in the outside community (through work, education, volunteer activities, etc.)

Eligibility: For all three types of residential services, individuals aged eighteen or older who are recovering from addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. Priority is given to people with disabilities, cultural and linguistic minorities, the homeless, people who inject drugs, people involved in the criminal justice system, and people with or at risk of HIV/AIDS.

In addition, pregnant women in early recovery who need assistance in developing and maintaining the life skills necessary to implement drug-free living are eligible for programs that provide enhanced services for pregnant and postpartum women and their babies.

Specialized Residential Care for Women (SRW)
These programs provide a safe and structured therapeutic environment where women can obtain residential substance dependence treatment services while still retaining custody and care of their children. The reunion with the children can occur during the mother's stay in the program.

Eligibility: Women with children who are in early recovery and need assistance in developing and maintaining the life skills needed to achieve a drug-free life.

Specialized Residential Services for Families
Specialized Residential Services for Families (also known as Substance Abuse Family Shelters) provide a safe and supportive treatment environment for homeless families when the responsible parent(s) have a chronic addiction problem of substances. Programs provide shelter, coordination and case management of substance dependence treatment and other services to homeless families in order to support and maintain sobriety.

Eligibility: The target population is identified as homeless caring parents or pregnant women, referred by the Department of Transitional Assistance, who have physical custody of at least one child and who have a chronic substance dependence problem. The Institute for Health and Recovery at (617) 661-7277 coordinates access to these programs.

Juvenile Residential
Youth Residential Programs provide short-term residential rehabilitation services for youth between the ages of fourteen and eighteen who need a supervised environment to strengthen their new-found sobriety. It includes diagnosis, counseling, educational and pre-vocational, recreational and HIV/AIDS-related services.

Eligibility: High-risk youth ages 14-18 who are experiencing emotional/behavioral, familial, developmental, and/or social dysfunction as a result of alcohol and other drug use.

Outpatient services  
Outpatient services are provided in community settings and involve attending scheduled appointments for counseling and treatment.

outpatient counseling
Outpatient Counseling provides treatment for adults and adolescents, their families and/or loved ones affected by alcohol or other drug use. Clients are assisted in acquiring and maintaining skills for a substance-free lifestyle. Services include assessment and treatment planning, individual, group and family counseling.

Eligibility: Anyone with concerns about a substance dependence problem or a family member/significant other who has concerns about someone else's substance dependence problem. The individual must be medically stabilized and not in need of acute inpatient services.

Day Care / Intensive Outpatient Care
Day Care and Outpatient Intensive Care are more intensive than Outpatient Care. The programs provide each client with several hours of counseling a day, up to four days a week, including: individual, group, and family counseling, relapse prevention, communicable disease prevention, case management, and encouraging the use of self-help groups.

Eligibility: Clients must be medically stabilized and need counseling more than once a week to maintain stability.

acupuncture services
Acupuncture maintenance and recovery programs provide services for individuals with a history of substance dependence who require treatment for mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. Services include limited medical admission and screening, motivational counseling/case management, and acupuncture treatments.

Eligibility: Open to customers with mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. The service is not appropriate for clients who require a medically monitored detox.

compulsive gambling services
Compulsive Gambling Services are specialized outpatient services for compulsive gamblers and their families. These programs include individual, family and group counseling and case management services.

Eligibility: Customers must meet pathological gambling criteria.


opioid treatment
Opioid Treatment provides clinically monitored treatment services for clients who are addicted to opioid drugs, such as heroin or pain relievers, and who have a history of chronic relapse. Opioid treatment services combine medical and pharmacologic interventions (such as methadone or buprenorphine) with professional outpatient counseling, education, and vocational services. Services are offered on a short- and long-term basis.

Aftercare/Recovery Support  
Aftercare/Recovery Support Services provide case management services to help link individuals and families to community supports such as self-help, housing, educational/vocational services, and employment.

Peer recovery support centers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Substance Addiction Services supports seven Peer Recovery Support Centers throughout the Commonwealth. These centers, located in Brockton, Greenfield, Lawrence, Marlborough, Roxbury, South Boston and Worcester, serve as safe havens for people recovering from substance use disorders to support each other's recovery. For more information about a Peer Recovery Support Center, visit  the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline.

Recovery Secondary Schools
Since 2006, Massachusetts has been a leader in the development of Recovery High Schools. These schools aim to meet the educational and recovery needs of students with substance use disorders by providing a safe and supportive environment free of alcohol and drugs. Recovery schools have been shown to reduce students' relapse rates and increase their graduation rates. BSAS currently supports four recovery high schools located in Beverly, Boston, Brockton and Springfield. 

Support case management
The overall goal of Supportive Case Management is to assist recovering adults and/or families to help them achieve self-reliance. This goal is achieved through case management services in an alcohol- and drug-free living environment that reinforces recovery by establishing community-based supports to maintain ongoing goals in the recovery process. The two types of programs in this category are Supportive Housing and Community Housing programs.

Eligibility: Men or women who have been sober for at least three (3) months and have a severely limited ability to live independently due to lack of income, diminished social skills and/or insufficient social support. Community Housing programs identify target populations such as homeless families and individuals affected by substance addiction. Community Housing participants must meet the HUD McKinney Program definition of homelessness (see Homeless Services section for definition). The Institute for Health and Recovery at (617) 661-7277 coordinates access to Community Housing Programs.

Community based case management
Community-based case management programs provide support services for people throughout the recovery and aftercare process. Case management services improve access to care, provide additional support to clients to improve treatment outcomes, and help clients develop community contacts and support for long-term recovery.

Eligibility: People who are currently not using or have difficulty accessing traditional substance dependence treatment services and people with a history of chronic relapse.


Homeless Services  
Homeless Services provides substance addiction services to homeless individuals with alcohol and other drug problems. Most of these services are provided within the homeless shelter system.


Substance Abuse Shelters for Individuals (SASI) and the Pine Street Inn Night Center provide shelter for homeless individuals who are substance abusers whose behavior is difficult to control and less appropriate for shelter in the general shelter system due to current substance use. SASI shelters also maintain a number of stabilization beds for those seeking a referral for substance dependence treatment and demonstrating a desire to remain substance-free.

Post-detox and pre-recovery programs (PDPR)
PDPR is a HUD-funded transitional support housing program that provides subsidized rooms with some case management services to individuals in early recovery, particularly after detoxification. It is intended to bridge, in the short term, the time between discharge from detoxification and admission to residential treatment, transitory or permanent housing.

Eligibility: Homeless individuals age 18 or older referred by a public ATS (detox) program, a homeless shelter or social worker. Customers must meet the McKinney definition of homeless. McKinney's definition includes individuals who live: on the streets; in a car; in a shelter; in a transitional housing program having originally come from the streets or a shelter; and those at immediate risk of becoming homeless due to a discharge or eviction within a week.

Driving under the influence  
The Bureau of Substance Addiction Services oversees the provision of substance dependence education and alternative sentencing treatment programs for those convicted of first or second offenses of driving under the influence. These programs include first-offender driver alcohol education, residential programs for second-offender driving under the influence, and second-offender aftercare.

Alcohol education in primary offending drivers (DAE)
Driver Alcohol Education (DAE) programs are available to those individuals who agree to the alternative sentencing sanction as specified in the Massachusetts General Laws for the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. Specifically, each AED program participant receives a structured group where they receive educational materials to help them identify and understand problems with alcohol dependence and drinking and driving behaviors. Although the main focus of these programs is alcohol, other substances are also discussed. The program offers 40 hours of services delivered over 16 weeks and includes an assessment, participation in community self-help meetings and impact on victims.

Eligibility: Individuals convicted of first-time drunk driving who choose this option as an alternative to loss of license or possible arrest. References are generally made by the awarding district court; however, if the customer is under 21 years of age, the Motor Vehicle Registry may require the violator to report.

Second Offender Residential Program 
Considered the first phase of the three-phase treatment model, Second Offender Residential Programs are 14-day residential programs targeted at individuals convicted of their second offense of drug-driving. These services include: medical evaluation, individual and group counseling, educational sessions including introduction to self-help, recreation, and ensuring that assignment has been made to an approved second offender aftercare program.

Eligibility: Individuals convicted of a second DUI may choose this option as an alternative to 30 days in jail. The awarding District Court makes all referrals.

Second Offender Aftercare (SOA)
Second Offender Aftercare (SOA) programs continue treatment efforts for those convicted of their second offense of driving under the influence. SOA programs lead to the aftercare portion when the client completes the 14-day Residential portion. During this part, the client is assessed and an individually designed program involving individual, group and family services will be designed. The programming design may vary during treatment depending on the client's needs. Each client will be involved in treatment for one (1) year of their internship supervision.

Eligibility: Individuals convicted of driving under the influence a second time. Individuals can choose this option as an alternative to at least 30 days in jail. The awarding Boston District/County Courts make all referrals. Completion of this program is one of several requirements an individual must meet to be considered for a Motor Vehicle Registry difficulty driver's license.

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