Recovery Month at Mass General

Recovery Walk

Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We are Stronger!

Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

View Recovery Month 2019 events

Download the Recovery Month 2019 calendar

Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) Initiative

The Mass General Recovery Month Celebration is led by the Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) Initiative. The initiative was developed in response to a Community Health Needs Assessments in Chelsea, Revere and Charlestown, where residents identified substance use, particularly opioids, as the single greatest issue in their community. It represents a collaborative effort between the Departments of Medicine, Psychiatry, Social Work & Nursing, as well as The Center for Community Health Improvement, Mass General Community Health Centers and the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

The initiative was designed to improve the quality, clinical outcomes and value of addiction treatment for all Mass General patients with substance use disorder while simultaneously reducing the cost of their care. To accomplish this mission, patients must have access to evidence-based treatment that is readily available and standardized across the system. The Mass General SUDs Initiative is focused on re-designing care at all levels to meet this goal.



Dr. Sarah Wakeman featured on the Charged podcast

Sarah Wakeman, MD

Sarah Wakeman, MD, an addiction medicine specialist at Mass General and a national thought leader in treatment for substance use disorders, is now featured on the new Charged podcast. As the medical director for the hospital's Substance Use Disorders Initiative, she is committed to changing how addiction is understood by the public and how it is treated at Mass General. In the podcast, Dr. Wakeman addresses changing the face of addiction treatment.

Learn more and listen now!

Mass General Campus Events

Recovery Month Events for September 2019


Download the Recovery Month 2019 calendar


What: Information Table

When: 9/6, 9/12 from 9 am-4 pm

Where: Coffee Central

Description: This table will be staffed by Mass General providers and staff knowledgeable about addiction, treatment and recovery. A variety of educational materials and treatment resources will be available. Nasal Narcan training will also be available at the table for those who are interested.


What: Recovery Month Kickoff

When: 9/10 at 12 pm-1 pm

Where: Bulfinch Tent

Description: This event will focus on racial inequities in the ongoing drug overdose crisis and the intersecting epidemic of mass incarceration. Featuring the following speakers:

  • Katrina Armstrong, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Devin Reaves, MSW is a Community Organizer and Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Josiah “Jody” Rich, MD, MPH is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and co-founder of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Brown University


What: Effective Insights, Techniques and Strategies for the Caregiver of a Person Impacted by Substance Use Disorder

When: 9/12 from 11 am-12 pm

Where: Haber Auditorium, Blake 190

Who: Recovery Coach Team - Nick DeSimone, Raina McMahan and Katie Raftery Moderated by Chuck Weinstein


Description: The Recovery Coach has unique insight into the world of someone who is using substances and how that impacts the world around them. Three Mass General recovery coaches will shed some light on topics that many caregivers grapple with: Deciding on whether or not to request a Section 35, effective tips on understanding DCF involvement and three engagement strategies with a loved one who is impacted by using substances specifically around how to talk with them about considering medication for addictions treatment (MAT).


What: Narcan Trainings

When: 9/12 from 1 pm-1:30 pm; 1:30pm-2 pm

Where: White 4 – 418

Description: Nasal naloxone (Narcan) is a prescription medication used to block the effects of opioids and reverse an overdose. This is a life-saving medication that can be used by health care staff, patients and families. This training will be taught by Mass General Clinical Pharmacist Alyssa Peckham. These trainings are by online sign-up, but walk-ins may be permitted if space allows. Please sign-up here:


What: MOAR & Friends Recovery Month March & Celebration

When: 9/16 at 8 am

Where: Meet in the East Garden Room

Who:  Led by Mass General staff

Description: This is a state-wide walk organized by the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR). All staff, patients, families and community members are welcome. All Mass General participants will meet in the East Garden Room at 8 am to walk to the City Hall Plaza to meet groups from across the state at 9 am. From there, MOAR will lead the march for a Recovery Month celebration to Faneuil Hall.


What: Narcan Trainings

When: 9/16 from 11 am-11:30 am 11:30 am-12 pm

Where: Yawkey 4 - 910

Description: Nasal naloxone (Narcan) is a prescription medication used to block the effects of opioids and reverse an overdose. This is a life-saving medication that can be used by health care staff, patients and families. This training will be taught by Mass General Clinical Pharmacist Alyssa Peckham. These trainings are by online sign-up, but walk-ins may be permitted if space allows. Please sign-up here:


What: Buprenorphine Waiver Training (Clinicians only)

When: 9/17 from 1 pm- 5 pm

Where: Cox 2 – 202

Michael Bierer, MD, Internal Medicine Associates

Julian Mitton, MD

Activity Description
This activity combines pre-work with live didactic lecture and discussion, including review of case studies, to provide a background of addiction treatment options in an office-practice-based setting using pharmacological treatments for opioid use disorder. It includes discussion of medication options, focused primarily on buprenorphine, covering induction, stabilization and maintenance, as well as the criteria to evaluate the appropriateness of medication-assisted treatment for individual patients. This training is for prescribing clinicians only. Please email Elizabeth Powell ateapowell@partners.orgto sign up or with questions.

 * In addition to completing this training, NPs and PAs have other training requirements that must be completed prior to becoming eligible to apply for the waiver. For more information, go to:

Location & Time:
Massachusetts General Hospital

Main Campus 55 Fruit Street, Boston MA 02114

Cox Building, 2nd Floor, Room 202

Target Audience: This activity is intended for prescribers (Physicians, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants) interested in using medication-assisted treatment protocols for buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorder.


Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to: 

  1. Identify appropriate patients for medication-assisted treatment of OUD
    2. Choose the appropriate mediation option for the patient
    3. Select an appropriate medication dose
    4. Induce medication-assisted OUD treatment using buprenorphine
    5. Titrate the buprenorphine dose to achieve the desired effect
    6. Monitor the progress of medication-assisted treatment for OUD

Course Director:  Michael Bierer, MD


What: Parenting Youth with Substance Use Disorders: A Discussion of Interventions to Guide Parents

When: 9/18 from 12 pm-1 pm

Where: Blum Center, White 110

Who:  James McKowen, PhD, Mass General Addiction Recovery Management Service

Description: This talk will briefly cover current trends in youth substance use, but mostly focus on interventions for parents of youth with substance use to support engagement in treatment and manage challenging behaviors. The discussion will focus on effective strategies and approach to working with youth who may not be interested in treatment or change.


What: Prevalence, Predictors and Pathways to Recovery from Addiction in the United States Population

When: 9/19 from 12 pm-1 pm

Where: Blum Center, White 110

Who: John Kelly, PhD, Recovery Research Institute

Description: While a great deal is known about the etiology, epidemiology and clinical course of substance use disorders, comparatively little is known about the pathways, prevalence and predictors of long-term remission and recovery. This talk will highlight the rationale for the focus on the factors that support long-term remission from substance use disorder as well as present findings from the first national probability-based sample regarding recovery in the United States population.


What: Harm Reduction and Stigma

When: 9/19 from 1:30 pm-2:30 pm

Where: O’Keefe Auditorium

Who: Sheila Davis, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer, Partners in Health


Description: In partnership with other health care workers, nurses are forces for promoting change and reducing stigma by radical acceptance of patients in the face of an epidemic.


What: Narcan Trainings

When: 9/19 from 2 pm-2:30 pm; 2:30 pm-3 pm

Where: White 4 – 418

Description: Nasal naloxone (Narcan) is a prescription medication used to block the effects of opioids and reverse an overdose. This is a life-saving medication that can be used by health care staff, patients and families. This training will be taught by Mass General emergency department pharmacist, Michelle Maguire. These trainings are by online sign-up, but walk-ins may be permitted if space allows. Please sign-up here:


What: Shatterproof 5K Boston

When: 9/22 at 8:30 am

Where: Franklin Park – Playstead, Pierpoint Road, Boston

Description: A 5k walk/run to raise vital funds to transform the way addiction is treated in America. Join together in support of those who have lost a loved one to addiction and celebrate those who are living in recovery today. For further details and to register, go to:


What: There is Treatment, Treatment Works

When: 9/24 from 4 pm-5:30 pm

Where: Haber Auditorium, Blake 190

Who:  Georgia Stathopoulou, PhD, Allison Labbe, PhD, Toby Lynch, PhD, Frank Dibert, PhD

Description: Substance use disorders are the top public health problem in the United States and are among the most stigmatized conditions in society. Yet, these are highly treatable conditions from which the majority of people recover. This talk, led by Dr. Stathopoulou at the West End Clinic, will describe the numerous effective behavioral treatment options for substance use disorders. Patients who have utilized these treatments to achieve recovery will tell their stories.


What: Finding Your Way Back Home: The Path of Healing and Wholeness in Addiction Recovery

When: 9/26 from 12 pm-1 p,

Where: Blum Center, White 110

Who: Frank Dibert, PhD, West End Clinic

Description: This presentation will discuss how to understand healing in addiction treatment, describing how recovery from addiction results in one living a more value-based, meaningful and ultimately sacred life.




Mass General Community Events

Recovery Month Community Events 2019


Download the Recovery Month 2019 calendar


Recovery Month Community BBQ

September 10, 4 pm-6 pm (rain date is Sept. 12)

255 Medford St, Charlestown, MA 02129


Charlestown Overdose Vigil

September 21, 6:30 pm

45 Bunker Hill St, Boston, MA 02129


Charlestown breakfast & walk to city hall for MOAR Recovery Month March and Celebration

September 16, 8 am

Charlestown Boys and Girls Club


Annual Revere Beach Memorial

September 15, 7 pm

William G. Reinstein Bandstand, Revere Beach


Addiction Services

Addiction Services at Mass General


The West End Clinic

The West End Clinic (WEC) of Mass General is an outpatient facility for those with alcohol and drug addictions, co-occurring mental health disorders and other types of addictive behaviors. The clinic offers a wide range of outpatient therapies and medication treatment along with other resources.

Learn more about the West End Clinic


The Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS) specializes in supporting teenagers and young adults between the ages of 14 and 26, and their parents, as they deal with their substance use and related problems. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 617-643-4699.

Learn more about ARMS

HOPE Clinic

The HOPE Clinic (Harnessing support for Opioid and substance use disorders in Pregnancy and Early childhood) at Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children provides comprehensive care for pregnant women with substance use disorder, their partners and their infants from conception through early childhood. The HOPE Clinic sees patients from 9:00 am-4:00 pm on Wednesdays on the Mass General main campus. However, the team can be reached any time during the week by phone at 617-724-4643 or by email.

Learn more about the HOPE Clinic

The Bridge Clinic

The Bridge Clinic mission is to bridge the treatment gap by providing on-demand, compassionate care to patients at all stages of addiction. This transitional clinic works to engage and stabilize high-risk patients before connecting them to long-term community-based care.

Watch Emily’s inspiring story of recovery with the help of Mass General’s Bridge Clinic. “It’s a relief to have found a place where I’m not kicked out for being honest and asking for help,” she says, “I’ve felt loved and accepted, and love is crucial to someone in recovery.”



For more information on the Recovery Month Celebration and the Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) Initiative, contact:

Elizabeth Powell

Project Manager, SUDs Initiative


For media inquiries, please contact McKenzie Ridings in the Massachusetts General Hospital Public Affairs Office at 617-726-0274 or