Enhanced Access to Detox Services for Substance Use Disorders

Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services sign Memorandum of Understanding with two Massachusetts detox facilities

OAK BLUFFS, MA. (January 2, 2017) – Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) and Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) have signed an agreement with two off-island detox centers to offer Vineyard residents immediate access to detox services beginning January 1, 2017.

Under the agreement signed on November 2, 2016, Gosnold, Inc., located in Falmouth, and Stanley Street Treatment and Resources (SSTAR) Inc., located in Fall River will take immediate action to find a detox bed for any person who voluntarily chooses to receive detox services and is assessed by the MVH Emergency Department, MVH Substance Use Disorder Team, or MVCS staff.

MVH and MVCS staff and the intake staff at Gosnold and SSTAR, have also established protocols to guide placement and transportation to the facilities.

“We have test-driven the process a few times from start to finish and have had very successful results,” said Joe Woodin, President and CEO of MVH. “Developing and creating access to this much needed detox program is the direct result of a collaborative effort and some innovative thinking, and I am really encouraged by these enhanced partnerships.”

Richard Curcuru, CEO of Gosnold agreed: “Gosnold has had a long-standing affiliation with the community of Martha’s Vineyard and we are pleased to have a more formal agreement in place. We are confident that this will improve access for those residents and we look forward to our continued relationship”.

“We are well aware of the logistical challenges Islanders face and the SSTAR family is delighted to participate in this access program,” said Nancy Paul, CEO of SSTAR. “We are very much looking forward to working with the Island community.”

In addition to detox placement, the MOU states that that any patient scheduled for admission to either of the two addiction treatment facilities will be offered the opportunity to be accompanied from the Island to the facility by a Recovery Coach.

A Recovery Coach is a trained professional who guides and supports an individual in the recovery process and helps to prevent relapse. Coaches act as a combination counselor, sponsor, friend, and mentor to help patients develop goals, locate resources, and learn the skills necessary to live a sober and productive life. This spring MVCS provided training for 19 recovery coaches and has a staff of five part-time coaches.

“Island access to detox services is dependent on a complex set of transactions involving ferry reservations; travel to and from terminals; and from terminals to destinations,” said Julie Fay, Executive Director of MVCS. Transportation from the Island to a mainland facility means physically passing liquor stores, bars, and places where drugs are readily available, which increases the potential for relapse. The warm handoff from the medical provider or staff to the Recovery Coach is a critical step to ensure the accountability and continuum of care for the patient.”

The detox access program is being fueled by a generous anonymous donation that will enable clinicians to access transportation, short-term housing and other expenses associated with facilitating detox placement.

The MOU was the outcome of a suggestion made by the grassroots forum that assembled last spring in the wake of a series of opiate related overdoses. Aside from working on gaps such as detox, the forum is also examining robust prevention efforts and the value of community drop-in centers.

Read more at MV Times | Vineyard Gazette