Lifespan Recovery Center dedicated to helping patients overcome opioid addiction

June 19, 2017

Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan leadership were joined today by federal and state officials to mark the opening of the Lifespan Recovery Center. The Rhode Island Hospital program will provide comprehensive outpatient treatment for those seeking to overcome opioid addiction. The center officially opened June 16 with 250 patients already under the care of Lifespan physicians. The center can treat up to 650 individuals.

“This new clinic will provide a single touchpoint to some of our most vulnerable community members – those struggling with addiction,” said Rhode Island Hospital President Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH. “We are proud to offer this comprehensive center of care to members of our community who are battling to get their lives back on course.”

Van Bree, Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, MD , Lifespan Senior Vice President of Psychiatry and Behavior Health Richard J. Goldberg, MD, MS, and Lifespan board member and chairman of the board’s Behavioral Health Committee Steven Pare were joined by Sen. Jack Reed, Rep. James Langevin, Gov. Gina Raimondo and R.I. state senator Josh Miller, among others.

“Our nation is struggling with the growing opioid addiction epidemic and we are working together to help save lives and help people reclaim their lives. We must continue to invest in education, prevention, treatment, outreach, and recovery,” said Senator Reed.  “Lifespan’s new recovery center will help treat people suffering from opioid addiction and connect them to the support and services they need, from access to medical treatment to behavioral health services. Everyone’s story is different, but the goal is to ensure that every individual who comes here receives access to the full spectrum of quality care. The road to recovery is long and difficult and it takes courage for people to seek treatment. We want to remove barriers to treatment and help people navigate around the roadblocks from addiction to recovery.”

Operating under the auspices of Rhode Island Hospital, the Lifespan Recovery Center is in a unique position to provide continuity of care by coordinating and leveraging the resources of its partner facilities, including inpatient and outpatient medical, mental and behavioral health services; ongoing coordination with primary care services; and liaison activity with emergency departments at Lifespan hospitals.

“In a small state like Rhode Island, the opioid crisis hits close to home because it seems everybody knows a family that has had their lives upended by addiction,” said U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who authored the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, sweeping legislation to combat opioid addiction that was signed into law last year. “It was clear to me from walking the halls of the new Lifespan Recovery Center that the medical and addiction professionals here will be an asset for those on the long, noble road to recovery.  I’m keeping up the fight to get more federal resources to stem this public health crisis, and I am proud of the work being done in Rhode Island to treat and prevent addiction.”

“The opioid epidemic is a national crisis that disproportionately affects the state of Rhode Island,” Congressman Langevin said. “Thanks to the new Lifespan Recovery Center, people struggling with addiction will have greater access to the care they need, and families will benefit from educational programs that reinforce a community support system. I look forward to seeing the impact of such a comprehensive treatment program that will save lives and ensure more Rhode Islanders battling opioid use disorders have a pathway to rehabilitation.”

The crisis of opioid addiction has been of mounting concern nationwide, and Rhode Island is no exception, experiencing alarming numbers of overdoses and deaths, as evidenced by Rhode Island Department of Health tracking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, “The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid.1 Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) quadrupled.2 From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.” In 2016, according to the Department of Health, 336 individuals died of accidental drug-related overdose in Rhode Island.

“One of my goals as Governor is to reduce opioid overdose deaths by one-third within three years. This new center will be a valuable tool in our fight against the most urgent crisis facing our state,” Raimondo said. “We’ve lost too many lives to overdose. These are our sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. We must keep fighting.”

With hours offered Monday through Saturday, the center will provide medication-assisted recovery; physician care for medical and psychiatric needs; group and individual therapy; care coordination with the patient’s primary care doctor; and ongoing recovery planning and care. More on the center can be found here.

Media Contact

Christina Spaight O'Reilly

Senior Public Relations Officer
Rhode Island Hospital