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Honoring their pledge to advance addiction treatment and recovery options in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito participated in the opening of the second phase of the Women’s Recovery from Addiction Program (WRAP) facility at Taunton State Hospital. The recent renovations, located in the South Wing of Taunton State Hospital, opened up thirty new beds for women who need treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. These thirty beds are in addition to the original fifteen beds set aside for the program.

“Ending the long disputed practice of committing women to prison at MCI Framingham is an important step toward providing women with the proper treatment as they begin the path to recovery,” said Governor Charlie Baker.

Women's Recovery from Addiction Program 07.21.2016The completion of this transition fulfills a commitment that the Commonwealth made to the women of Massachusetts almost three decades ago, and the administration is proud to have delivered this promise with the support of the legislature and Attorney General Maura Healey. On January 25, 2016, Governor Baker signed an act relative to civil commitments for alcohol and substance use disorders into law. This new law ensured that women who are civilly committed for treatment under Section 35 of Chapter 123 of the General Laws are no longer committed to MCI-Framingham.

For decades, women seeking treatment have been forced to take the only option available to them: prison. These beds provide a more efficient and dignified path to treatment both for patients and their loved ones. Major renovations to create the new units, which are located in a 17,100 square foot former DMH inpatient unit, took 9 months to complete. The new, 30-bed WRAP includes a north and south unit with double and single bedrooms, private treatment space, a dining room, a day room, a lounge, a fitness room, offices, a secure intake area, and secure outdoor recreation areas. On top of all this, the new facility will also provide 130 new jobs for the residents of Taunton.

“The WRAP program provides a safe place for women to detox while receiving clinical supervision, individual and group therapy, education and access to medication therapy,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary for Health and Human Services and Chair of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group that recommended the civil commitment process changes. “But most importantly, each woman will leave the program with an individualized discharge plan, so she can continue her treatment and recovery in her community with strong supports.”

In February, just after renovations on WRAP program facility began at Taunton, Lieutenant Governor Polito visited the hospital with Secretary Sudders. “We all know that punishment is not the appropriate response to a substance use disorder,” said Lt. Governor Polito during her visit. “We aren’t going to arrest ourselves out of this problem, we need to use every available tool in the toolbox.”

 

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