Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Massachusetts
Each year, approximately 1.5 million Massachusetts residents use illegal drugs and another half-million abuse alcohol. As a result, these substances caused nearly 8% of resident deaths in the Commonwealth during the time period from 2008 to 2017. Furthermore, issues that are often related to substance abuse, such as mental illness and homelessness, witnessed elevated levels in recent years. Between 2013 and 2017, the occurrence of major depressive episodes among adolescents and of serious mental illness among adults were both slightly higher in Massachusetts than across the country. The Commonwealth’s homelessness rate of 29 out of every 10,000 residents was also significantly above the national average of 17 out of every 10,000 residents in 2018.
This guide was created to help the many residents of Massachusetts who are struggling with substance abuse addiction to find affordable treatment that will put them on the path to recovery. It is also intended to inform the general public about the dangers of substance abuse in Massachusetts.
If you need help finding a rehabilitation center in Massachusetts, you can use our directory to find low-cost, quality treatment right away. Read on to find instructions for using the directory and to learn which rehabs qualify as the highest-rated, low-cost facilities in the Commonwealth.
Table of Contents
I. Getting Help
Drug & Alcohol Addiction Rehab, Treatment & Recovery Resources in Massachusetts
The Highest Rated, Low-Cost Rehabs in Massachusetts
If the cost of rehab is a barrier for you – as it is for many – and you don’t have insurance, there are still ways for you to receive help. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), there are 377 substance abuse treatment centers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Of those 377 rehabs, Fenway Health Substance Abuse Treatment Program in Boston received the highest overall score based on our five core metrics.
Fenway Health Addiction Recovery and Wellness Program is located in Boston and offers outpatient services to both adults and young adults. It received the highest overall score of 7.7 points out of 10 possible points in our rankings. The center’s greatest strength is its number of rehabilitation services, which include detoxification using buprenorphine and relapse prevention utilizing naltrexone. It also offers many different treatment approaches, such as rational emotive behavioral therapy, anger management, and motivational interviewing. Cost is a low barrier to treatment as the center accepts federal, state, private, and military insurance in addition to self-payment. The center’s lowest performance is in the category of Special Programs for Unique Demographics — it has services designed for LGBT clients and patients with HIV or AIDS but lacks special programs for other groups like seniors or the military.
Holy Family Hospital in Haverhill received an overall score of 7.2 points out of 10 points, making it second in our rankings. The facility provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services to adults and young adults, including at VA hospitals, in the areas of detoxification for alcohol, benzodiazepines and opioids and both prescribing and administering buprenorphine and naltrexone for substance abuse treatment. One of Holy Family Hospital’s best features is its wealth of ancillary services, such as transportation assistance, housing services, mental health counseling, social skills development, and health education and support. The facility earned its lowest score in the category of Cost. While it accepts options such as Medicare and Medicaid, payment cannot be made with military insurance or through government funding for substance abuse programs.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital’s West End Clinic ranked third highest in our rankings with an overall score of 7.1 out of 10 points. The center offers outpatient rehabilitation services to both adults and young adults. It earned a near-perfect score for in the category of Rehabilitation Services Provided, in part because it provides medication-assisted treatment, detoxification, and relapse prevention services, utilizing medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone. Another strength of the center is its wealth of treatment approaches, such as dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma-related counseling, and relapse prevention. These services are widely accessible to many clients, as federal, state, military, and private insurance coverage, in addition to government funding for substance abuse programs, are accepted methods of payment. The center’s greatest weakness is its limited number of programs specially tailored to unique populations.
Rehabilitation Services Provided: 9.13
Treatment Approaches: 8.88
Special Programs for Unique Demographics: 1.34
Ancillary Services: 4.4
Highest-Rated, Low-Cost Treatment Centers in Massachusetts
161 Jackson Street Lowell, MA 01852 Main Tel: 978-937-9700 Intake Tel: 978.221.6730
Finding a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Massachusetts
Start by contacting your referral center
In Massachusetts, residents have a right to receive substance abuse treatment anywhere within the Commonwealth and at any stage in their recovery due to the “No Wrong Pathway” policy. To that end, the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline can help individuals find and enter a treatment program. It is the only public resource that locates treatment and recovery services throughout Massachusetts that are licensed and approved by the MA Department of Public Health. To find assistance, individuals can call the Helpline number, fill out an online form, or search for services directly on the Helpline website.
Helpline specialists use the information they are given by individuals accessing the Helpline to refer them to any of hundreds of treatment services around the Commonwealth. Specialists can also identify services covered by insurance policies and find programs funded by the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Addiction Services for individuals without health care coverage. Low-income Medicaid services are another option available to individuals who need help paying for treatment. For information on eligibility, visit the MassHealth Medicaid and CHIP website.
Use our database to find a treatment center near you
The tool below lists all of the treatment centers in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Input your zip code and select the filter icon to find relevant treatment centers near you.
Many different methods are available for treating addiction, and the science of studying addiction is constantly improving and changing. However, the core pieces of rehabilitation are generally very similar.
The opioid death rate among veterans in Massachusetts is three times higher than average for the Commonwealth
Veterans face unique challenges that can place them at higher risk for a substance use disorder (SUD) than the general population. The primary factor leading to this increased risk is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while other situations, such as unemployment, homelessness and chronic pain, can also be contributing factors. Furthermore, individuals – including veterans – with a substance use disorder are more likely to develop PTSD, so the problem is cyclical in nature.
A 2017 Massachusetts Department of Public Health report revealed that a large number of veterans in the Commonwealth suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder and engaged in binge drinking behavior. In addition to other challenges, these factors placed them at risk for developing opioid use disorder as well. Veterans as a whole had little in common with other at-risk populations — few veterans had a history of incarceration, used transitional services, or had a mother with an opioid use disorder, and most were older, with an average age of 54 years. The most significant overlap with other at-risk populations was in the area of serious mental illness, with around 10% of veterans diagnosed with a qualifying mental health disorder.
deaths per 100,000 residents were veterans with opioid overdose, 2011-2015
deaths per 100,000 residents were non-veterans with opioid overdose, 2011-2015
Despite this relative lack of risk factors, an analysis of data from 2011 to 2015 determined that the opioid death rate among Massachusetts veterans was approximately three times greater than for non-veteran residents. For every 100,000 Massachusetts residents during that time period, 36 deaths were veterans who overdosed on opioids and 12 deaths were non-veterans who overdosed on opioids.
Veterans can reach out to their local VA medical center to search for information on substance abuse treatment, including the possibility of a VA-based substance use disorder (SUD) program, in Massachusetts. Additionally, they can locate information regarding substance abuse treatment services at Home Base and find advocates to support them as they seek help at Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.
Treatment is available for veterans in Massachusetts who are suffering from a substance use disorder. As of 2017, 70 substance abuse treatment facilities in Massachusetts – representing 19.9% of all treatment facilities – catered specifically to veterans.
Adolescents in Massachusetts use marijuana and alcohol at rates higher than the national average
of adolescents aged 12-17 used marijuana, 2014-2017
of adolescents aged 12-17 drank alcohol, 2014-2017
Between 2014 and 2017, 10.2% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Massachusetts reported engaging in marijuana use in the past month, significantly above the national average of 6.8%. In terms of alcohol use, 13.5% of adolescents aged 12-17 in Massachusetts had taken part in the behavior in the past month, again significantly more than the national average of 10.1%. Additionally, 1.3% of individuals admitted to a substance abuse treatment program in Massachusetts in 2017 were aged 12-17. To overcome the challenges that youth face in recovering from substance addiction, some treatment centers provide adolescent-specific treatment programs.
Additional Resources for Parents and Teachers
All Massachusetts treatment programs for adolescents and young adults are licensed by the Commonwealth’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, located in Boston. A wealth of options are available to support these young persons and their families during the recovery process. Outpatient programs provide services across Massachusetts in six different regions — Boston, Central, Metro-West, Northeast, Southeast, and Western. The Commonwealth also offers two youth stabilization and detoxification programs, four youth and three young adult residential treatment programs, five recovery high schools, family intervention programs, and youth intervention programs. Detailed descriptions and location and contact information for each of these options are available in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Youth & Young Adult Substance Use Services Directory. Parents can also call the Massachusetts Substance Helpline for assistance determining the right treatment for their child or visit the Helpline website to search for services and access additional resources.
Co-Occurring Mental Health & Substance Abuse Treatment
Substance abuse and mental health issues tend to go hand-in-hand – the technical term is “co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that, in 2017, 45.6% of adults with a substance use disorder also had a mental health disorder, and 18.3% of adults with a mental health disorder also had a substance use disorder. For adolescents in 2017, 35.9% of those with a substance use disorder also had a major depressive episode, while 10.7% of adolescents with a major depressive episode also had a substance use disorder.
Mental Health Resources & Treatment
If you or someone you love is suffering from mental health issues, such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, or severe anxiety, there are many resources from which to receive help.
Below are a few ways to receive immediate assistance, as advised by MentalHealth.gov:
Emergency Services: If your life (or someone else’s life) is in danger, always start by dialing 911 to gain immediate access to emergency services.
Suicide Prevention: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 800-273-8255. You can also initiate a private live online chat.
Veterans Crisis Line: Dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 and press “1” to talk to someone immediately. You can also access help with a private online chat or text 838255.
Here are two ways to find a provider of mental health treatment in Massachusetts:
The Massachusetts Department of Mental Health: The DMH website has a section with resource guides for both the general public and unique groups with mental health concerns and a special section devoted to mental health programs for children, youth, and families.
Individuals who have both substance use and mental health disorders may benefit from dual-diagnosis rehab facilities. Use the appropriate filter in our tool above to find rehabilitation centers with treatment programs designed to meet the unique challenge posed by co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.
Substance abuse aftercare treatment is often overlooked, but it’s one of the most crucial steps in the rehabilitation process. The chances of relapsing after rehab dramatically rise for individuals who try to resume their lives without pursuing further treatment in an aftercare setting. Several different types of aftercare are available for recovering addicts, including follow-up visits for continued therapy, group therapy, and sober living homes. Research shows that long-term participation in aftercare activities dramatically improves the outcome of rehabilitation efforts.
12-Step Addiction Meetings in Massachusetts
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) designed the 12-step process for individuals recovering from alcohol addiction, and today there are many other 12-step programs for other addictions and issues – Narcotics Anonymous (NA) being just one example.
Contact the appropriate local organization to find an AA or NA meeting near you
The tool below lists the contact information for local organizations that will connect you to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings near you. Since meeting times and locations change periodically, contact the local groups that coordinate the meetings to ensure that the information is up to date.
Sober living homes (also referred to as recovery residences) are group homes that help recovering addicts transition from treatment facilities to living independently while maintaining their sobriety. These homes can be especially beneficial for individuals who don’t have a supportive and positive environment in which to live after leaving a rehabilitation facility.
Residents of sober living homes can stay from a few months to several years, as long as they follow house rules and avoid relapse, as these homes typically have a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy. Additionally, residents are expected to complete chores, attend mutual support groups, and pay an equal share of the cost of renting the home.
Some sober living homes are listed in our database, and you can find them by using the appropriate filter in our tool above. You can also check out our guide on sober living homes to learn more about them and to find a certified recovery residence near you.
The following table illustrates the annual estimates of substance abuse among residents of Massachusetts between 2016 and 2017, in addition to the percentage of the Massachusetts population and the U.S. population that those estimates represent.
Annual Estimates for Substance Abuse in Massachusetts, 2016-2017
* ‘Alcohol’ refers to an Alcohol Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use alcohol, but rather those who have an AUD, defined as meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence.
* ‘Prescription opioid’ refers to a Pain Reliever Use Disorder. The numbers reflected in the table above are not the number of individuals who use or even occasionally misuse a prescription opioid, but rather those who have a PRUD, defined as meeting the criteria for illicit drug dependence.
of Massachusetts deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of U.S. deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
The following table shows the number of deaths involving drugs and alcohol in Massachusetts between 2008 and 2017. The corresponding graph illustrates the percentage of deaths due to drugs and alcohol in the Commonwealth compared to the national average.
Drug and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Massachusetts, 2008-2017
When trying to understand substance abuse issues in a specific area, researchers and policymakers examine “key indicators.” Combined with usage statistics, key indicators can provide a deep level of insight into which substances present the most serious concerns and which demographics can be most impacted by substance abuse. Key indicators of substance abuse issues within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, along with recent, credible statistics, are examined below.
Over one million Massachusetts residents suffer from mental illness every year
As discussed earlier in this guide, there is a strong link between substance use disorders and mental health disorders. When an individual is afflicted with both of these issues at the same time, health professionals refer to it as co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders or a “dual diagnosis.” Consequently, the prevalence of mental health issues in a given state can also help us to understand the level of substance abuse.
of Massachusetts adults had a serious mental illness
of Massachusetts adolescents had a major depressive episode
Between 2013 and 2017, 4.9% of Massachusetts adults were afflicted with a serious mental illness, compared to 4.2% nationally. Among Massachusetts adolescents, 12.7% of individuals aged 12-17 suffered a major depressive episode in the past year, compared to a national average of 12.1%.
The table below sheds some light on the prevalence of mental health issues in Massachusetts.
Mental Health Issues in Massachusetts by Age and Percentage of Population, 2016-2017
Suicide rates in Massachusetts are significantly lower than the national average
The Centers for Disease Control reports that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States: The suicide rate has risen in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, with that rate increasing by more than 30% in half of all 50 states since 1999. Suicide is an act that is often linked to substance abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, substance abuse is a primary risk factor for both adults and adolescents who attempt and/or complete suicide, and this is particularly true for at-risk populations.
Furthermore, the relationship between substance abuse and suicide is multi-faceted and complex. Persons who have substance abuse issues typically also carry other risk factors for suicide, including depression, impulsive behavior, and other struggles with relationships, finances, illness, or unemployment that make them more likely to engage in self-harm. Between 1999 and 2016, Massachusetts witnessed a 35.3% increase in the number of suicides. In 2017, Massachusetts ranked 48th in the country for the number of suicides per 100,000 residents.
Suicides and Suicide Rates in Massachusetts and the United States, 2017
Massachusetts has a markedly lower opioid prescribing rate than the overall U.S. rate
Prescription drug abuse – particularly in the form of opioids – has become an epidemic in the United States. While it is difficult to estimate how many individuals use these drugs as prescribed and how many abuse them, the Centers for Disease Control has researched the variation in opioid prescriptions between states, establishing a direct connection between an increased level of opioid prescriptions with a greater potential for dependence and abuse. Across the United States in 2017, 191 million prescriptions for opioids were written by physicians, ultimately leading one in four patients who begins long-term opioid therapy to an addiction.
opioid prescriptions per 100 Massachusetts residents, 2017
opioid prescriptions per 100 U.S. residents, 2017
After peaking in 2012, the U.S. opioid prescribing rate has been on a steady decline for the last several years due to the explosion of the opioid epidemic and the recognition of the role that excessive opioid prescriptions have played in this epidemic. Between 2013 and 2017, the opioid prescribing rate in the United States dropped from 78.1 prescriptions per 100 residents to 58.7 prescriptions per 100 residents, a decrease of 24.84%. The opioid prescribing rate in Massachusetts was consistently lower than the U.S. prescribing rate during that time period, from 63 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2013 to 40.1 prescriptions per 100 residents in 2017, revealing an even greater decrease of 36.35%.
Massachusetts and U.S. Opioid Prescribing Rates, 2013-2017
The rate of homelessness in Massachusetts is much higher than the national average
A high rate of homelessness in an area indicates a greater potential for substance abuse issues. Homelessness has been shown to be linked to substance abuse as both the cause and result; some individuals become homeless due to a substance use disorder, while other individuals who are already homeless frequently turn to substance use to dull the pain and desperation of their situation.
The 2018 Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Point-in-Time Count reported approximately 552,830 homeless individuals in the United States, the equivalent of 17 of every 10,000 U.S. residents. This number represents a decrease of 4.1% since 2014 when the number of homeless persons in the U.S. was around 576,450. Furthermore, homelessness across the United States has decreased by 15% since 2007, the year that HUD began collecting data on the homeless population.
of every 10,000 Massachusetts residents were homeless, 2018
of every 10,000 U.S. residents were homeless, 2018
By comparison, Massachusetts had approximately 20,068 homeless persons in 2018, equating to 29 of every 10,000 Massachusetts residents, which is much above the national average. This number reveals a 5.50% decrease since 2014 when 21,237 homeless persons lived in Massachusetts.
V. Regional Substance Abuse Statistics & Rehabs
The following sections provide a deeper look at the substance abuse problem in Massachusetts by examining the drug- and alcohol-related death rates in the three most populous cities. Additionally, the three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in each city are listed.
The three highest-rated rehabilitation centers in Boston are listed in the table below, along with each institution’s performance on our core metrics.
Boston’s rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths is over a percentage point higher than average for the Commonwealth
of Boston deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Massachusetts deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
There were 4,569 deaths due to drugs and/or alcohol in Suffolk County, where Boston is located, in the period between 2008 and 2017. This number amounted to 8.9% of the total fatalities for all ages in the county during this time and was more than a full percentage point above the Commonwealth’s drug- and alcohol-induced death rate of 7.71%. Boston’s death rate was also higher than the drug- and alcohol-induced death rates of both Worcester and Springfield, the next two most populated cities in Massachusetts.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Suffolk County, 2008-2017
The rate of drug- and alcohol-induced deaths in Worcester is slightly higher than the average for Massachusetts
of Worcester deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Massachusetts deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
The city of Worcester is located in Worcester County, where there were 6,196 fatalities due to drugs and alcohol between 2008 and 2017, equating to a death rate of 8.35%. This percentage was above the Commonwealth’s death rate of 7.71% during the same time period by a little over half a percentage point. When compared to the other two top cities in Massachusetts, Worcester’s death rate fell in the middle, though it is closer to the higher rate for Boston than the lower rate for Springfield.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Worcester County, 2008-2017
Deaths caused by drugs and alcohol are marginally less in Springfield than across Massachusetts
of Springfield deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
of Massachusetts deaths are caused by drugs and alcohol
Hampden County, for which the city of Springfield is the county seat, reported 3,359 drug- and alcohol-related deaths from 2008 to 2017, representing 7.14% of the total number of fatalities in the county during that time and measuring slightly below the Commonwealth’s average of 7.71%. Of the three top cities in Massachusetts, Springfield had the smallest raw number of deaths as a result of alcohol and drugs, as well as the lowest death rate percentage.
Drug- and Alcohol-Induced Deaths in Hampden County, 2008-2017
Substance abuse treatment is available in Massachusetts for anyone who needs help beating an addiction – you don’t have to struggle alone. To receive assistance, start by determining your insurance coverage and by contacting your referral resource. You can also use our tool earlier in this guide to locate a treatment center near you. Remember, many low-cost rehabilitation centers can help if you don’t have insurance coverage or feel like you are unable to afford treatment.