Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced today that the city will collaborate with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation on a study of the current capacity of addiction and recovery services in Boston.
City officials said the study will focus on how to better align the city’s addiction and recovery services with demonstrated best practices and will inform the creation of the city’s first ever Office of Recovery Services.
An advisory committee of experts in related fields will be created to assist with the study, which is slated for completion in 2014.
“My administration is committed to bringing new support to the recovery community as part of our public health and public safety plans,” said Walsh. “We’re connecting the dots to make sure people get access to treatment. And we’re reaching out to our partners, so we can have the biggest impact and share the best ideas.”
Walsh said that despite significant and historic health care reform in the state, treatment for mental health and substance use disorders remains challenging in terms of access, capacity and cost.
“I think we can all agree that the current system is complex, overburdened and in need of reform,” Walsh said.
The Office of Recovery Services will be under the oversight of the Boston Public Health Commission, and is part of Walsh’s fiscal year 2015 budget, which identifies $300,000 in new money to help fund its creation.
The office will work to improve existing addiction and recovery services and create a continuum of high quality services for those battling addiction, help those fighting addiction navigate the city’s available resources, and advocate for treatment options.
City officials said the addiction and recovery study will be fundamental to the development, mission, and functions of the office.