In a three-part series, Mass General explores the frontline efforts of three community coalitions supported by the Center for Community Health Improvement. This article focuses on the Charlestown Coalition.
West End Clinic
55 Fruit Street
Cox Building, Suite 110
Boston, MA 02114
COVID-19 Update: The West End Clinic remains virtually open for usual business hours during the COVID-19 crisis. We continue to accept new referrals and offer our usual services through telehealth.
Explore This Treatment Program
The West End Clinic remains virtually open for usual business hours during the COVID-19 crisis. We continue to accept new referrals and offer our usual services through telehealth.
The West End Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital is an outpatient facility for those with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders.
The clinic offers a wide range of outpatient therapies, including:
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Individual, family and group therapy
- Treatment planning
- Medication treatment management
The clinic also offers educational and treatment resources for people with substance use disorders. In addition to providing treatment and education, the West End Clinic helps patients and families navigate what can be burdensome insurance issues.
We work with each patient to determine the best course of treatment, and this multidisciplinary approach helps ensure our patients and their families receive the best care possible.
The West End Clinic offers a wide variety of treatment options for people with all types of substance use disorders and addictive behavior. We work with each patient to review your history, understand your current needs and make recommendations for the most appropriate treatment options.
Outpatient Care for Addiction
The West End Clinic provides comprehensive evaluation of alcohol and other substance use disorders, including individualized treatment planning and referrals.
The West End Clinic also provides resources for hospital staff concerning issues of patient management, treatment, planning and resources, discharge planning, employee assistance and general information on substance use disorders. The West End Clinic maintains special clinical ties to other service areas, including Infectious Diseases and HIV, OB/GYN, Geriatric Medicine, Liver and Kidney Transplant and the Pain Management Center, due to the high rate of co-occurring medical issues and substance use disorders.
See our services
Our services include:
- Psychiatric assessments and medication follow-up: Most of our patients have co-occuring psychiatric disorders. We provide both psychiatric medication management and medications specifically to treat addiction issues, such as naltrexone, acamprosate, disulfiram, topiramate.
- Vivitrol® (Naltrexone IM) Injection Clinic: Vivitrol® is used to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders and has been shown to be effective in reducing alcohol consumption and assisting in sobriety.
- Suboxone® Maintenance Program: Suboxone® is a medication prescribed to treat opioid dependence that helps suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Group Therapy: The West End Clinic offers a robust group therapy program to meet the needs of patients in various stages of recovery.
- Individual Therapies: We offer a variety of different treatment approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, psychodynamic therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and mindfulness-based treatments.
- Family and Couples Therapy: Engagement of families and significant others is an important part of addiction treatment at the West End Clinic. In addition to the Relationship & Recovery Enhancement program, we offer a Family Support Group and a Parenting Group, which are both open to families and parents with children who suffer from addictive disorders.
Note: Specialized treatment for young adults between 14-26 with substance use disorders is offered through the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General.
The West End Clinic offers diverse modalities for group therapy and are held at the West End Clinic, located at Massachusetts General Hospital. See our group therapy listing to learn more about the groups we offer each week.
How to Enroll
Any patient interested in enrolling in group therapy at the West End Clinic, must complete a new patient evaluation prior to enrolling. For more questions, please contact the Psychiatric Access Line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-724-7792.
Intensive Outpatient Care for Addiction: Day & Evening Programs
The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) serves as step-down care for patients who received detoxification and medical care who are ready for treatment but have had little or no outpatient treatment in the past. For patients who are currently outpatient but need to have more services to achieve recovery, IOP serves as a higher level of care. We accept patients over 18 years old.
The IOP provides services three hours a day, three days a week, for four weeks:
- Day IOP: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Evening IOP: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
The program provides curriculum-based psycho-education group followed by a process group for patients with co-morbid mental health and substance use disorder diagnoses provide in a group format. The curriculum includes topics such as:
- Biology of addiction
- Process of addiction and recovery
- Basic recovery skills such as managing cravings, self-care and mood management
- Using family, social and community-based resources as support in recovery
Each patient is assigned a provider for individual check-ins during the course of the week. The IOP team meets three times a week for rounds to discuss patients. During these meetings, the team reviews the patient progress, or problems, and noncompliance. Individual providers communicate the suggestions or feedback with each patient.
One very important piece of our program is the psychopharmacology evaluation. Medication management is usually provided once a week but occurs more often if need be. In addition to commonly used psychiatric medication, we provide treatment with medications to treat specific to addiction issues, such as naltrexone, acamprosate, disulfiram, topiramate and buprenorphine (Suboxone®).
During their IOP treatment patients receive case management services for issues related to housing, disability, FMLA, legal, coordination of care, communication with other providers.
There is medical coverage every day for all WEC patients, including IOP patients. It is not uncommon that IOP patients may need to be assessed by a clinician during their treatment with us for issues such as medication side effects, sedation, withdrawal symptoms or safety issues.
Facilitated by: Lisa Du Breuil, LICSW, Frank Dibert, PhD, Estee Sharon, PsyD
Couple & Family Therapy
Recovery & Relationship Enhancement Program: A Service for Couples, Families and Supportive Significant Others
The Recovery & Relationship Enhancement Program invites family members or friends – generally called “supportive significant others” (SSO) - to actively participate in the treatment of their loved ones and enhance support for recovery through education and explorations of the impact of addiction and recovery on both patients and their families. Research has shown that SSO involvement can help improve treatment outcomes. Motivational interviewing strategies are used to explore patients’ thoughts about having SSO involvement and encourage them to join the program.
Once patients with substance use disorders undergo intake at the West End Clinic and actively pursue our services, they become eligible for this program.
Facilitated by: Estee Sharon, PsyD, Marc Bolduc, LICSW, Frank Dibert, PhD, and Jennifer Blewett, LICSW
There are two ways to access the program:
- Intermittent family therapy sessions – sessions include patients and supportive people in their lives (such as family, friends, AA fellows, clergy)
- The primary purpose of these sessions is education and support.
- Ongoing family or couples’ therapy – sessions include patients and SSOs with a focus on:
- Understanding that as much as the patient is in recovery, so are his\her nuclear or extended family and friends
- Exploring communication styles to establish open and honest ways of connecting
- Mapping relational patterns to eliminate enabling behaviors and introduce smoother and healthier interpersonal dynamic
Vivitrol® (Naltrexone IM) Injection Clinic
Vivitrol® is FDA approved for the treatment of alcohol use disorders and opioid use disorders. Naltrexone in intramuscular form (Vivitrol®) has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing alcohol consumption and assisting in sobriety. Patients who are able to abstain from alcohol (even for a short time) are appropriate for an injection
of intramuscular naltrexone.
The West End Clinic oversees an injection clinic based in Wang 8 at Mass General where intramuscular naltrexone can be administered. We will assist in evaluating criteria for naltrexone as well as prior authorization related to the medication.
How to Become a Patient at the Vivitrol® Injection Clinic
To be eligible, you must be in treatment at the West End Clinic (WEC). To become a patient, please call Adult Psychiatry Triage at 617-724-7792 to make an appointment at the WEC.
As part of your WEC assessment, we will discuss available treatment options for alcohol and other drug use disorders and make individual recommendations. A thorough review of your medical and psychological status will be coupled with an evaluation for appropriateness of pharmacotherapy. Our staff will collaborate with the injection clinic staff for patients who will benefit from this medication.
The staff at the injection clinic will assist with the insurance forms, ordering the medication, etc. Please note: You injection appointment will only be scheduled after the injection has been approved by your insurance.
Throughout the process, the WEC will update any referring providers
Suboxone® Outpatient Program
Opioid-dependent patients who are in need and eligible for office-based opioid substitution therapy e.g. buprenorphine (Suboxone®) are admitted on a special track to the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).
After completing a first-time evaluation with the West End Clinic and a Suboxone® evaluation with a physician, eligible patients start the IOP and are seen by our Suboxone® providers for induction. During the week of their induction, these patients are seen three to four times in that week by an MD or RN. Suboxone patients continue receive all the other services provided to IOP patients.
Upon completing the IOP, Suboxone® patients are required to attend a Suboxone® Recovery Group that meets once a week (see days offered on the Group Therapy list) for a minimum of six months. After six months, patients are reassessed and considered for more individualized treatment.
- Jennifer Blewett, LICSW, Clinical Care Coordinator
- Marc G. Bolduc, LICSW, CADC II, CGP, Social Worker
- Frank Dibert, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
- Lisa Du Breuil, LICSW, Social Worker
- David Eddie, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
- Allison Labbe, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
- Toby Lynch, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
- Stephanie Mahnks, RN, PMHNP-BC, Nurse Practitioner
- Estee Sharon, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist
- Tahir Tellioglu, MD, Psychiatrist
- Meredith Morrison, RN, MSN, Nurse Practitioner
- Christoforos Iraklis Giakoumatos, MD, Fellow
- Archana Patel, MS, Practice Manager
- Rachel Meyers-Weinerman, Patient Service Coordinator
- Mayra Zelaya, Administrative Coordinator
Training & Peer Supervision
In addition to providing exemplary therapeutic care to patients, the West End Clinic is dedicated to assisting Mass General trainees, including fellows, residents, medical students, psychology and social work interns and staff clinicians, who are interested in facilitating groups and would like to enhance their knowledge and therapeutic skill.
To support these goals, a peer supervision group has been organized. Within this group, each participating clinician is viewed as an essential element of a “group-as-a-whole” directed toward the understanding of group dynamics and processes. The emphasis is on the presentation of actual clinical material. Group members have the opportunity to comment on the emerging group process and to provide support for the presenting clinician who may be struggling with particular challenges or concerns. Another focus is on addressing all formal aspects of group psychotherapy, including the identification of a clinical need, linking to referral resources, accessing appropriate patient populations, legal and ethical concerns, and the assessment of group process and outcome. Effectively communicating with others involved in the patient's care and monitoring the patient’s overall progress is an overarching priority.
The peer supervision group also offers the following opportunities:
- Co-facilitation of groups in which a trainee is paired with an experienced clinician
- Didactic experiences with group therapy experts
- Initiatives to educate others and raise awareness regarding the efficacy of group therapy in substance use disorder treatment, both at Mass General and beyond
- Participation in local and national group psychotherapy associations
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