MATCH program thriving

Print icon

To combat the opioid epidemic, BHN’s reach now totals 16 locations 

In the shadow of a relentless opioid epidemic, Hartford HealthCare has become a leader in addressing the challenges of addiction and mental health in a compassionate, accessible and discreet way with its rapidly expanding MATCH Program.

MATCH, or Medication Assisted Treatment Close to Home, was first introduced in the Behavioral Health Network (BHN) in early 2016 as a multifaceted way of helping teenaged and adult opioid users find lasting sobriety.

“Substance use and psychiatric disorders frequently co-occur and outcomes are significantly improved when treatment addresses both issues,” said J. Craig Allen, MD, medical director of Rushford. “With MATCH, we coordinate medication management and psychosocial therapy within a team that has expertise in both behavioral and substance use disorders.”

MATCH combines the use of the FDA-approved medications such as Suboxone or Vivitrol to reduce cravings for opioids and alcohol with group therapy aimed at relapse prevention and opportunities for holistic treatment such as yoga. Through its various locations, the program has touched thousands of lives. From July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, more than 2,500 clients with a diagnosis of opioid addiction came through the various MATCH locations. 

“Medications such as Suboxone help these individuals continue to function at home and at work while they are working on their recovery,” Allen said, adding that “same-day appointments and flexible programming accommodates clients who have real-life work, family and social responsibilities in addition to managing their substance use disorder.”

Medication, he explains, improves treatment outcomes but every patient also participates in a relapse prevention group to help improve their overall functioning and provide support throughout the recovery process.

Private physicians can prescribe medications to help patients find sobriety, but the value of MATCH comes in the support and healthy services offered as well. Classes in yoga, meditation, exercise and mindfulness are also part of MATCH because Allen said they are known to have a positive impact on substance use disorder, depression, anxiety and overall mental and physical health.

To meet the state’s demand for opioid-specific programming, MATCH expanded recently to add several new sites. The 16 locations now include:

• Natchaug treatment sites are located in Danielson, Dayville, Enfield, Groton, Mansfield, Norwich and Old Saybrook, as well as a new location in Vernon

• Rushford just added a site in Middletown in addition to its existing sites in Avon, Cheshire, Glastonbury and Meriden

• Backus operates a location in Norwich

• The Hospital of Central Connecticut has a site in New Britain and recently opened a second in Southington

“The opioid epidemic continues in Connecticut and nationwide,” said BHN President Patricia Rehmer. “The Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network continues to be proactive by providing MATCH services across  Connecticut, in urban and suburban locations, so people can access the services that they need. We are consistently adding new locations because we are keenly aware of how important it is to have medication assisted treatment, close to home.

For more information about MATCH, go to www.matchrecovery.org.


What's New

Wallingford Endoscopy Center Opens

Endoscopy Center Opens in Wallingford

The Wallingford Endoscopy Center, an 8,533- square-foot space dedicated to gastroenterology procedures, has opened in Wallingford. The center, a joint venture between Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut GI and MidState Gastroenterology Specialists, offers upper endoscopies and colonoscopies in the new facility. “Patients in need of gastrointestinal procedures will find the best care...


What is Inpatient Rehabilitation?

A new inpatient rehabilitation unit opened at Hartford Hospital recently. It’s a 26-bed unit that specializes in physical, occupational and speech therapy for patients who have suffered a major illness or injury. Dr. Maria Tsarouhas of the Hartford Hospital In-Patient Rehabilitation Unit has details on what that means.  Q: This unit opened...

Apple Watch and AFib

Why Heart Patients Shouldn’t Use Apple Watch to Detect AFib

Seems that the Apple smartwatch can do it all – check email, send an SOS, connect to your car, get directions, open your garage door and order a pizza — but checking your heartbeat for atrial fibrillation might not make sense. Dr. Steven Zweibel, director of electrophysiology at the Hartford...


Hartford HealthCare Increases Minimum Hourly Rate to $15

More than 2,400 employees to benefit from increase, effective March 31 Hartford HealthCare today (Monday, 1/14) announced it will increase its minimum hourly rate to $15, effective March 31, 2019. The new pay rate will directly benefit more than 2,400 of Hartford HealthCare’s approximately 20,000 employees throughout Connecticut. These employees...

GoHealth interior.

Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care Center Opens in Torrington

Newly constructed Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care center will replace Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s former urgent care walk-in center, less than a mile away. GoHealth Urgent Care, one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing urgent care companies, together with its partner Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut’s most comprehensive healthcare network and an affiliate of...


Why Does My Neck Hurt? (It Could Be a Pinched Nerve)

When is neck pain a serious issue? When it’s a pinched nerve, according to Dr. Joel Bauman, chief of neurosurgery at the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at MidState Medical Center. Q: What is a pinched nerve? A: A pinched nerve is when there is an injury, usually in the disk, which...

Prostate Cancer Relationships

ED, Incontinence After Prostate Surgery: What Can a Partner Do?

This is the first of a two-part series on the effects of prostate cancer on relationships. Ask any prostate cancer survivor and he’ll tell you there’s no price he wouldn’t pay to be cancer-free. Let’s start with the surest way to cure prostate cancer when the disease hasn’t spread: Removal...