HAMPSTEAD — It’s just 10 beds, but that’s 10 more than the state now has to help people with substance abuse problems.
Hampstead Hospital opens a new program Monday that will help fill a gaping hole in the state’s drug and alcohol treatment options.
But there’s a demand for much more.
New Hampshire has the capacity to serve just 5 percent of the 100,000 people with substance abuse problems with short-term residential treatment programs, according to an official with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Recovery Matters is designed for people who have completed detoxification, but aren’t ready to live a sober lifestyle on their own.
The hospital has a detox program, which can accomodate 15 people. Until now, once they completed that process, there have been few options for the next step, hospital officials said.
“Our hope is that people out of detox can step right into this unit and get some more treatment in a more contained and structured environment,” said Patti Shea, director of clinical operations at Hampstead Hospital. “Our goal is to keep them connected in their communities so that when they leave, they aren’t totally out their on their own.”
Stacy Carpenter, clinical director of Recovery Matters, said residents will stay in the program anywhere from five to 28 days. The treatment program is covered by many health insurance policies.
“The idea is that here they would be able to do all that in one place,” Carpenter said. “They can detox upstairs and then you can continue the care downstairs.”
The hospital also has Quitting Time, a 12-hour-a-week outpatient program, but often their patients need more attention than that can provide, officials said.
“We’ve had to refer people out of state, even as far as Florida,” Shea said. “There’s nothing accessible. There are very limited resources when it comes to residential treatment. Those that are available have lengthy waitlists from between four to eight weeks, and there becomes the possibility for relapse because they are at very high risk.”