Drugs and alcohol impact our lives in unexpected ways. It harms personal relationships and physical health. The challenge is addressing substance abuse in an effective manner. In Massachusetts, they take measures to limit access to addictive opiate prescriptions and to monitor the use of prescriptions in an effort to reduce substance abuse and addiction within the state.

Treatment Centers in Massachusetts for Addiction Recovery

Treatment centers in Massachusetts give you a strategy to start recovering from substance abuse. The challenge is finding the right program to help with your goals. By having a few ideas in mind, you will avoid unnecessary challenges and start comparing your options.

Serenity at Summit

Serenity at Summit offers residential treatment in Massachusetts. The program offers a medically supervised detox service before starting residential care. It develops a custom plan to help with recovery and uses a holistic approach to long-term recovery.

Spring Hill

Spring Hill in Ashby offers residential care in a quiet environment. It is surrounded by 70 acres of wooded land and uses the natural surroundings for equine therapy, hiking and reconnecting to nature. The program also uses one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and family therapy to help with personal goals and health.

The Banyan Treatment Center

The Banyan Treatment Center is a comprehensive treatment facility. It offers residential and outpatient care to help with long-term goals. When individuals complete the residential program, they transition into an intensive outpatient program and then an outpatient treatment plan to make it easier to adjust after treatment. The program uses a combination of medical treatments and evidence-based care with counseling to work on recovery.

Drug Treatment Programs and Types of Treatments

Massachusetts drug rehab programs fall into different categories. Massachusetts inpatient drug rehab, or residential treatment, allows an individual to stay at the facility 24 hours per day. By staying in the facility for the entire treatment program, individuals do not face stressful situations at work or home. It removes them from a potentially complicated environment and allows an individual to focus on recovery.

Outpatient care differs from inpatient treatments by allowing an individual to visit the facility for counseling and care without leaving their home. It helps when personal obligations limit treatment opportunities.

When you evaluate different programs for treatment options, you want to focus on facilities with multiple treatment strategies. A program may offer adventure therapy or equine therapy to teach valuable life skills or help with traumatic experiences. Programs often offer counseling and evidence-based treatments, like cognitive therapy, to help reduce the risk of continuing to use a substance. You may also consider a program that offers alternative therapies like meditation, acupuncture and art therapy.

Massachusetts Drug Laws

Drug laws in Massachusetts depend on the substance and the amount of a drug in an individual’s possession. Dangerous drugs, like cocaine and heroin, are illegal in the state. Individuals caught with illicit substances in the state will face fines and jail time. The exact jail time depends on the number of drugs in an individual’s possession.

Small amounts of cocaine, heroin or other illicit substances usually result in jail time of up to 1 year and a fine. When the amount exceeds 14 grams or more of cocaine or similar substances, an individual faces a trafficking offense rather than a possession offense. Trafficking drugs in Massachusetts will result in jail time that ranges from 3 to 20 years. The state also sets a fine that ranges from $2500 to $500,000 for drug trafficking.

Penalties for drug possession and trafficking increase with each conviction. Selling an illicit substance results in 2 to 15 years in jail and a fine of $1000 to $25,000.

Marijuana laws in Massachusetts differ from other substances. The substance was originally decriminalized in 2008 and possession of marijuana became a civil offense rather than a criminal offense as long as an individual did not have more than one ounce. In 2016, state laws changed in relation to marijuana use and possession. Adults over 21 years old are allowed to buy up to one ounce of marijuana from a licensed store. It is not legal to use marijuana in public spaces or to drive under the influence of the substance.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Statistics in Massachusetts 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that roughly 818,000 residents of Massachusetts use illicit substances over a one month period. Since the population of the state is around 6.85 million, the rate of illicit drug abuse in the state is almost 12 percent. That means more than 1 in 10 residents over 12 years old used illicit substances in a one month period.

Cocaine abuse and the misuse of prescription medications raises some concerns for the state. Roughly 164,000 residents of Massachusetts, or 2.4 percent of the state’s population, use cocaine in a one year period. According to SAMHSA, around 228,000 residents, or 3.3 percent, of residents misuse their prescription pain relievers. The increased rate of prescription drug abuse and the continued rise of heroin abuse in the state is a particular concern for residents of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Heroin and Opiate Epidemic

According to the Massachusetts government, opioid-related deaths have increased steadily from 2000 to 2017. In the year 2000, the state had roughly 379 opiate-related deaths. By 2017, the state saw 1977 opiate-related deaths. The rate of death has increased by nearly five times over a 17 year period.

Although the rate seems high, recent changes to the state laws are showing positive changes to the rate of opiate-related deaths. In 2016, the number of deaths caused by opiate drugs was 2155 people. By the end of 2017, the number of deaths had dropped by nearly 200 people or nearly 9 percent.

In an effort to reduce opiate-related deaths, the state representatives signed a bill to limit first-time prescriptions for opiate drugs to seven days. By limiting the prescription to a specific number of days, the risk of an addiction reduces. The bill also strives to improve monitoring within the state to help reduce the risk of opiate and heroin addiction within the state.

Prescription Drug Monitoring in Massachusetts

Massachusetts uses a prescription drug monitoring database to help reduce the risk of prescription drug abuse and misuse. The database helps doctors and pharmacists identify when an individual has a risk of engaging in dangerous behaviors. The system identifies prescription medications that may cause a physical dependence or addiction. It also helps pharmacists give residents warnings about the potential risks of a substance when they pick up a prescription.

Admission Stats for Massachusetts Drug Rehab

Admissions into a Massachusetts drug rehab program differ based on the demographic involved in the treatment program. In Massachusetts, roughly 48,000 residents sought professional treatment for heroin abuse in 2012. According to the Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services, roughly 67 percent of individuals seeking treatment for heroin were men. Around 90 percent were unemployed at the time they sought treatment and nearly 41 percent had previously sought treatment for mental health conditions.

Adolescents in a treatment program in Massachusetts accounted for 2254 individuals in 2012. The Massachusetts Bureau of Substance Abuse Services reports that 68.4 percent of adolescents in a treatment program were male. Marijuana was the primary substance abused by adolescents at 54.4 percent, followed by alcohol at 17.8 percent and heroin at 8.3 percent.

The use of illicit drugs by women in Massachusetts showed an alarming trend. The state had 32,956 women seek treatment for substance abuse in 2012. The majority of admissions among women related to alcohol abuse at 31.8 percent and heroin abuse at 44.3 percent. The high rate of heroin abuse shows a trend that raises concerns about the health of women in the state. Pregnant women accounted for 540 individuals in treatment in 2012.


Recovering from substance abuse starts with identifying the potential risks to your health and long-term goals. By working with a rehab program in Massachusetts, you start identifying risk factors and avoiding dangerous substances.


Contact us to learn more about treatment options available in Massachusetts.



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