New addiction services include vans for overdose treatment and clinical care in Springfield

Tapestry providing customers with HIV medication

BOSTON (WWLP) – In May the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced four contracts to provide Mobile Addiction Services Vans in Boston, Springfield, Worcester, Fall River and New Bedford.

The vans will serve individuals at high risk for overdose and other medical complications associated with substance use. They will provide treatment and basic clinical care including medications for addiction treatment, naloxone distribution, and training and syringe exchange.

The following van service providers will be funded $350,000 annually from the DPH to provide these services:

  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless in Boston
  • Tapestry Health Systems in Springfield
  • UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester
  • Stanley Street Treatment and Resources in New Bedford

According to the Department of Public Health, the vans will also offer primary care services such as wound care, vaccinations, screenings for communicable diseases including HIV and tuberculosis, and referrals to behavioral health services and specialty care.

“The disproportionate impact on underserved communities and populations requires that we bring treatment and care to people who otherwise would not get it. These vans will bring treatment directly into areas most affected and connect them to potentially life-saving services,” Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel said.

The goal of the vans is to provide care to individuals not receiving services through other means, initiate medication for addiction treatment, and provide connections to long-term, community-based care in an effort to prevent overdose deaths, support long-term recovery, and improve health and quality of life for vulnerable individuals.

The Kraft Family Foundation has donated the vans in Worcester and Springfield. The anticipated start of Mobile Addiction services is July 1.

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