State expands addiction program for women at Taunton State Hospital

Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and state and local officials announced the addition of 30 new beds at Taunton State Hospital for woman struggling with substance use disorders July 21, the Governor’s office said in a press release.

The new beds are part of the hospital’s Women’s Recovery from Addictions Program (WRAP) which was created this past January after Baker signed legislation guaranteeing that women who are civilly committed by a court for treatment will receive their treatment in a therapeutic setting instead of in prison, Baker’s office said. The new units include single and double bedrooms, a dining room, a day room, a lounge, a fitness room, offices, a secure intake area, and secure outdoor recreation areas.

The expansion cost about $15 million, Baker’s office said.

WRAP, which opened in February with 15 beds, is the first state-operated addiction service program of it’s kind, Baker’s office said. As of this month, 44 women who participated in the program have been treated and discharged.

“Ending the long disputed practice of committed women to prison at MCI Framingham is an important step toward providing women with the proper treatment as they begin the path to recovery,” Baker said in a statement. “Earlier this year, I was honored to sign landmark legislation including the first law in the nation to limit first time adult opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply, and other important prevention and education provisions recommended by our opioid group.”

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said that women with substance use disorders deserve the same treatment as other individuals who have a chronic condition.

“Women with substance use disorders deserve treatment, support and recovery services in the same dignified medical setting that individuals with any other chronic condition receive,” Polito said. “I am happy to stand here again and witness the progress this administration has made in eliminating a 25-year-old practice that should never have existed.”

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