HCN News & Notes

BHN Launches Opioid Treatment Program in Partnership with Holyoke Health Center

HOLYOKE — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) launched a new program in partnership with Holyoke Health Center and the HEALing (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Communities Study to help those struggling with opioid dependence. This new treatment program is located at BHN City Clinic, 235 Maple St., Holyoke.

BHN City Clinic now offers methadone treatment through its Opioid Treatment Program with admissions scheduled daily for individuals 18 and older. Holyoke Health Center will continue to offer buprenorphine and injectable naltrexone to aid those in recovery.

This new program provides medication-assisted treatment seven days a week in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a holistic approach to the treatment of substance-use disorders. The Clinic is open Monday to Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and dosing hours are Monday to Friday, 5:45-11:45 a.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 7-10 a.m.

“We are pleased to be playing a role in expanding opioid treatment in collaboration with these two important partners,” BHN President and CEO Steve Winn said. “Opioid addiction continues to plague our communities, and the new Holyoke clinic allows BHN to provide more access to medication-assisted treatment to more people in need of assistance.”

Dr. Ruth Potee, medical director for Substance Use Disorders at BHN, added that “access to the new clinic will help save lives, as the data is clear that the use of medication to treat substance-use disorders is effective. This clinic will offer holistic services in addressing opioid misuse, expanding these services beyond our current clinic on Liberty Street in Springfield.”

The HEALing Communities Study aims to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% over three years. Holyoke is one of the first communities to initiate the study with a coalition of local partners.

The HEALing Communities Study is a national program that was launched by the National Institutes of Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to investigate how tools for preventing and treating opioid misuse and opioid-use disorder (OUD) are most effective at the local level. The program tests the impact of an integrated set of evidence-based practices across healthcare, behavioral health, justice, and other community-based settings.

The Study is partnering with 67 communities highly affected by the opioid crisis in four states to look at the effectiveness of coordinated systems of care designed to increase the number of individuals receiving medication to treat OUD, increase the distribution of naloxone, and reduce high-risk opioid prescribing.

In addition to Holyoke, other participating communities in Massachusetts are Bourne, Brockton, Gloucester, Holyoke, Lowell, Plymouth, Salem, Sandwich, Shirley, and Townsend.

“BHN’s Opioid Treatment Program is the fulfillment of a long-term effort to reopen a downtown methadone facility in Holyoke,” said Jay Breines, CEO of Holyoke Health Center. “An earlier program on Elm Street was closed over 20 years ago, and the opioid epidemic has only gotten worse since then.”