New detox center expected to open Monday in Greenfield

  • Recorder Staff/Tom RelihanA nurse station in Behavioral Health Network's new detox facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield.

  • Recorder Staff/Tom RelihanA group activity day room at Behavioral Health Network's new detox facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield.

  • Recorder Staff/Tom RelihanBehavioral Health Network's new detox facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield is expected to begin taking patients Monday.

  • Recorder Staff/Tom RelihanThe main entrance to Behavioral Health Network's new detox facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield.

  • A room in the detox unit at Behavioral Health Network’s new facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield. Recorder Staff/Tom Relihan

  • Recorder Staff/Tom RelihanBehavioral Health Network's new detox facility at the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield is expected to begin taking patients on Monday.

Recorder Staff
Published: 7/8/2016 12:58:49 PM

GREENFIELD — A long-awaited substance abuse treatment center in Greenfield that’ll expand the region’s detox capacity by 64 beds is expected to take its first patients on Monday.

The center, which has been under construction since the winter, will consist of two floors in a former Lunt Silversmiths building on Federal Street — one for acute detox and another for longer term clinical support. It will accept both male and female patients, according to Nancy Elmer, one of the new center’s staff nurses.

The facility will be able to accept people seeking treatment for addiction to alcohol or drugs right off the street, and will have 32 beds for male patients and 32 beds for female patients.

If the patient has insurance, that pays for it. If not, the state Department of Public Health does.

Susan West, senior vice president at Behavioral Health Network, which will oversee the facility, said the detox center adds crucial addiction treatment services to a region that has historically lacked them.

“The opioid epidemic has hit our entire western Massachusetts region very hard, and Greenfield is no exception,” West said. “There have not been any treatment options in this community, so we specifically came to Greenfield for that reason. We hope to make a positive impact on this community.”

Patients will begin their treatment in the acute detox section. That phase will last between five and seven days, Elmer said.

Detox patients will be required to participate in group meals if they’re well enough to leave their bed, as well as counseling sessions, group therapy and other activities to help them decide how to proceed with their recovery.

If there aren’t enough beds, the facility has ample waiting room space where a person can sit for hours, until the next available bed opens up, Elmer said. If a person shows up seeking treatment but is too intoxicated to safely enter the facility, they’ll be sent to the hospital and a bed will be held for them once they’ve sobered up, she said.

After patients have completed initial treatment from whatever drug or substance they’ve been using, patients can qualify for a stay upstairs in the Clinical Stabilization Service center, called the Northern Hope Center.

There, Elmer said, they’ll live more independently for up to a month. That floor has exercise equipment, day rooms and other space for patient group activity.

Patients can leave at any time — the program is completely voluntary, Elmer said.

“If they decide at any time during those first five to seven days that this is not for them, we’ll sit down with them, we’ll talk to them and counsel them,” Elmer said. “But if they’re adamant, they have the right to leave. They haven’t been sentenced here.”

The facility will also be able to take patients ordered into treatment under Section 35, the state law that allows addicts who present a threat to themselves or others to be ordered to be committed against their will.

If those people leave, they’d be violating a court order.

West said those patients have typically been sent to Bridgewater State Hospital, a lock-down psychiatric facility in the eastern part of the state.

“There’s been a lack of available Section 35 beds, and this adds capacity there,” she said.

Behavioral Health Network also runs a detox facility and a rehabilitation center in Springfield, West said.


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