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Recovery Services

Through outreach, engagement, advocacy, referrals, harm reduction, and recovery services, we help people access the support they need. 

The Office of Recovery Services and the Recovery Services Bureau work together, with the state, city, and community partners to address substance use disorder in Boston.

Our Programs

Our Work

3-1-1 for Recovery Services is the City of Boston’s confidential 24/7 referral center for:

  • substance use treatment, and
  • recovery services.

Visit the 3-1-1 website or call 3-1-1 (617-635-4500) for help.

Access to Harm Reduction, Overdose Prevention and Education (AHOPE) is the City of Boston’s harm reduction program and needle exchange site. The program provides a range of service to active injection drug users, including:

  • Integrated HIV, Hepatitis, and STI testing
  • free, legal, and anonymous needle exchange
  • supported referrals to HIV, Hepatitis, STI treatment
  • medical, overdose prevention education and training
  • risk reduction supplies to reduce the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C infection
  • risk reduction counseling
  • supported referrals to all modalities of substance abuse treatment, and
  • other services. 

Learn about AHOPE

A welcoming space for individuals receiving services in the Newmarket Square neighborhood.  

Opened in August 2017 and moved into a new building at 26 Atkinson Street in December 2021, the Engagement Center is a welcoming, low-threshold daytime space for individuals navigating homelessness and substance use to access resources; engage in recovery, behavioral health and homeless services; and receive nursing care and medical support.  

The “low-threshold model” improves access to care for people impacted by addiction by: 

  • Lowering barriers to entry 

  • Tailoring services to the needs of people who use drugs  

  • Prioritizing trusted, caring staff 

The Engagement Center spaces offers guests access to: 

  • Nurse stations for medical care 

  • Meeting space for housing advocates, counselors, or recovery coaches 

  • Programming space for art, therapy and wellness services 

  • TV, phone chargers, wifi and books 

  • Computer and phone workstations available for email access, applications, and virtual meetings. 

  • Restrooms and showers 

  • Water, coffee, and light snacks 

Participants receive daily nursing care, including medication management, from Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. They can also receive medical care, connect with a behavioral health provider, and start substance use disorder treatment.

Learn more about the Engagement Center and its design here.

This is a six- to 12-month residential substance use treatment program. Entre Familia provides bilingual and bicultural, gender-specific, substance use disorder treatment to pregnant and postpartum women and their children. The program provides substance use disorders (SUDs) recovery services. Support is offered to pregnant and postpartum women who are 18 and older and Massachusetts residents.

Services include:

  • clinical screenings
  • assessments
  • referrals to medical and mental health services
  • residential care
  • comprehensive case management
  • childcare services
  • family treatment planning, and
  • referrals for specialized services to address developmental and behavioral difficulties and early intervention.

Mobile Sharps Team provides proactive sweeps in high volume areas. They respond to 311 calls for improperly discarded syringes in public areas. There are eleven outdoor kiosks for syringe disposal that are located in hard-hit areas.

Training on safe sharps disposal is given to:

  • Boston Public Schools
  • the Boston Housing Authority
  • the Parks Department, and
  • other City departments to improve collection and safety on City property.

Currently, the Community Syringe Redemption Program is being piloted in the Newmarket Square neighborhood to stipend peers who collect syringes. The program provides a low-threshold workforce opportunity for vulnerable residents.

Providing Access to Addictions Treatment, Hope and Support (PAATHS) is a one-stop shop. The program provides information for anyone looking for information about, or access to, substance use treatment services. That includes individuals, families, community partners, and other treatment providers. Residents can reach PAATHS by calling 3-1-1 or 1-855-494-4057.

Learn more about PAATHS

Transitions is a 40-bed, evidence-based, short-term treatment program for adults focusing on:

  • relapse prevention
  • behavior modification
  • interpersonal skill development, and
  • re-socialization skills.

Facilitated client discussion groups meet daily. The groups explore life issues related to substance use.

Psychoeducational sessions provide clients information about:

  • physiological
  • psychological, and
  • sociological consequences of substance use.

We offer one-to-one, goal-oriented sessions. These sessions help clients choose a suitable placement for continuing treatment.

The Youth Prevention Program was created in response to the Boston Youth Substance Use Prevention Strategic Plan. The plan was released in 2018.

The program focuses on supporting:

  • Boston stakeholders
  • community partners, and
  • residents.

We do this through four key areas:

  1. Educational material and media messages to youth and their families
  2. Health education around substance use and social-emotional learning.
  3. Expanding engagement with all youth populations
  4. Coordinating prevention efforts between public, private, and nonprofit sectors

First responder initiatives

Fire Operations

We co-led the Post-Overdose Response Team (PORT) with the Boston Fire Department to provide:

  • education
  • overdose prevention and Narcan, and
  • access to care to families and individuals following an overdose in a residential setting.
Emergency Medical Services training
Emergency Medical Services

EMS leads the Community Assistance Team (Squad 80). The team is designed to rapidly respond to individuals on the street.

EMS also recently put in place a program that leaves naloxone behind at the scene of an overdose for bystanders or those that refuse transport.

A group of smiling police cadets
Boston Police Department

The Boston Police Street Outreach Unit has expanded to create a centralized system for MH/SUD support. The unit is trained in recovery coaching and crisis intervention. Our goal is to enhance community engagement efforts.

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