Published: September 17, 2020
This has been a momentous but rewarding year for Bridgewell and our clients. Despite the challenges the pandemic has presented, Bridgewell’s Recovery Services staff has worked tirelessly to continue serving people with substance use disorders through treatment, housing and job placements. This National Recovery Month, Bridgewell is focusing on the small successes and ways our recovery programs have adapted during COVID-19.
Bridgewell’s Drug Diversion Program supports first-time, non-violent drug offenders as an alternative path to incarceration. Clients receive individualized wellness plans that address their root health and social needs, such as food insecurity, homelessness and domestic violence.
Bridgewell’s Women’s Program, Johnson Street is a six-month, residential treatment program for women struggling with addiction. Women receive individualized treatment and have access to counseling and treatment, parenting groups, educational and vocational training, and more.
The Drug Diversion Program shifted entirely to tele-health care at the start of the pandemic, and while those in the Johnson St. program were able to continue living at the residence, their counseling and mentor sessions shifted online. This change has been a struggle for many clients who benefit strongly from face-to-face support. Additionally, many women at Johnson Street have not seen their families in person due to necessary social distancing requirements. These critical programs are also operating below capacity due to the drop in referrals resulting from the closure of the Suffolk County courts earlier this year. The end result of these changes is that clients who would normally receive immediate assistance have been struggling alone for months.
Despite these adversities, clients have persisted, and many are successfully recovering. For example, some clients in the Diversion Program are thriving with virtual support because it takes away hindrances such as transportation and childcare. As Massachusetts reopens, Bridgewell’s Recovery Programs are slowly receiving new clients who have been backlogged in the court system since coronavirus first hit.
While it will take time to address the huge need caused by the pandemic, Bridgewell’s Recovery Services staff – and more importantly, its clients – have adapted swiftly and are ready for what’s next. We are extremely proud of those who have persisted through their recovery treatment in these challenging times and know that they will emerge from this period stronger than ever.