Massachusetts hospitals embrace recovery coaches for overdose patients

Salem, Mass.-based North Shore Medical Center and nonprofit human service agency Bridgewell recently started offering recovery coaches to patients being treated for drug overdoses, The Boston Globe reports.

The launch of the service at the center's Salem Hospital marks an extension of a program the hospital and Bridgewell have been offering to patients at Lynn, Mass.-based North Shore Medical Center Union Hospital since 2017.

The 10 recovery coaches who have been giving one-on-one support for patients at Union Hospital will now be available to patients at Salem Hospital.

After the center contacts them, the recovery coaches — provided by Bridgewell — report to the hospital where the patient is being treated to establish a relationship and begin discussing the patient's treatment options. The recovery coaches have personally experienced addiction or been affected by it.

Since the program's launch in Lynn, the recovery coaches have provided face-to-face support to more than  500 patients treated for an overdose at Union Hospital.

About 30 percent of those who met with recovery coaches have sought access to more l treatment services, including detoxification, psychiatric care, self-help programs and outpatient counseling, according to North Shore Medical Center.

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