McLean Hospital 115 Mill Street Belmont, MA 02478
If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, including the misuse of alcohol, prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or opioids such as Oxycontin or Percocet, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program addresses a wide range of diagnoses, provides individualized treatment, and identifies support and resources for you and your family.
For more than 40 years, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program has been providing care for patients with substance use disorders with and without other coexisting mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Located in Proctor House on McLean’s Belmont campus, the program offers a safe and secure environment that is conducive to helping patients focus on addiction treatment and recovery.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program is ideal for patients who:
Our team of highly trained clinicians and support staff specialize in treatment for drug and alcohol abuse and related mental health disorders and are devoted to improving the quality of life of patients and their families. Our 24-hour care also includes available emergency psychiatric and medical personnel.
Covered by most health insurance providers, our program is appropriate for individuals ages 18 and older who are living with addiction. The average length of stay for the inpatient program is 3-5 days.
We work in conjunction with a broad range of programs across McLean’s Substance Use Disorders Division in order to provide comprehensive substance abuse treatment for patients at every level of care, from intensive inpatient detox to individual and group outpatient therapy offered by McLean’s Adult Outpatient Services. The division’s most popular programs are our residential Signature Addiction Recovery Programs: Fernside and Borden Cottage. A restored historic inn, the Fernside program is located near Wachusett Mountain in scenic Princeton, Massachusetts. Borden Cottage, located in Camden, Maine, offers discreet care in a setting that offers a 270° view of Penobscot Bay. Each self-pay location is beautifully furnished throughout and all rooms are private and include full baths.
Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused category of drugs, behind alcohol and marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Overall, an estimated 48 million people have abused prescription drugs, representing nearly 20% of the US population.
In Massachusetts, opioid overdose is now the leading cause of injury death. In an effort to save lives, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has created a program to promote the education of misusers of opioids and their families about the use of naloxone (also known as Narcan). During an opioid overdose, breathing can slow to the point of death. After being sprayed into the nose, Naloxone blocks the opioid and restores normal breathing. It is safe, easy to administer, and has no potential for abuse.
Read more about how McLean and the Substance Use Disorders Division are taking action at the forefront of the opioid epidemic.
Nancy Merrill’s article on addiction detox shows why it’s an important step towards safe and effective recovery.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program takes a comprehensive approach to substance abuse care, using evidence-based treatment methods. Working in close partnership with patients and families, we focus on creating a customized treatment plan for each individual based on his or her specific symptoms, the severity of the symptoms, and other co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses. We encourage family involvement, and with the permission of the patient, family members can be included in assessment, treatment, and aftercare planning.
The program provides structured, safe detoxification for adults with substance use disorders. This level of care is used for crisis stabilization when there is risk of harm to self or others. With the highest quality medical and psychiatric resources, we provide 24-hour nursing supervision and care in a secure setting.
Our patients begin their care in McLean’s Clinical Evaluation Center, where all inpatients are evaluated and then admitted to the program that best suits their symptoms and diagnoses. Upon admission to our program, each patient undergoes a comprehensive diagnostic assessment focusing on drug and alcohol use which is administered by our treatment team and includes psychosocial evaluation, medication evaluation, and assessment of substance use and medical history.
Short-term care focuses on stabilization and aftercare planning to ensure patients are on a path towards recovery. We create an individualized treatment plan for each patient. This may include a combination of individual and group therapies, a variety of treatment models, and medications that help patients manage their symptoms and transition back to their daily lives.
Designed to engage patients in their treatment, each day is carefully planned according to the individual’s needs with ample time for self-focus and group work. Through structured schedules, group and individual therapy helps patients become more open and willing to participate in treatment, decreases behavioral symptoms, increases normalized family, work, and social functioning, and emphasizes education and support.
Stressing recovery and relapse prevention, we utilize a number of therapy models informed by psychiatric research conducted by investigators within the Substance Use Disorders Division, throughout the hospital, and around the world.
Integrated group therapy is an evidence-based treatment for co-occurring bipolar and substance use disorders, developed by McLean’s Roger D. Weiss, MD, and Hilary S. Connery, MD, PhD, and is designed to teach essential recovery behaviors and relapse prevention skills that apply to both illnesses.
Relapse prevention therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, incorporates self-control, identifying positive and negative consequences and high-risk situations, and implementing coping strategies in order to help patients maintain abstinence.
We also use other treatment modalities such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) which emphasizes the development of four skill sets: mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, emotion regulation, and distress tolerance, as well as motivational enhancement therapy, which is a counseling approach that helps individuals resolve their ambivalence about engaging in treatment and ceasing drug and alcohol use by evoking rapid and internally motivated change.
Each patient works with a behavioral therapist (a licensed psychologist or clinical social worker). The therapist develops a plan that serves as a guideline for staff to ensure quality and consistency in treatment. Patients meet with a psychiatrist weekly, or more frequently if required, for medication management. Our nursing and counseling staff are also certified in medication administration.
Family involvement in treatment is strongly recommended, and with the permission of the patient, family members can be involved in assessment, care, and aftercare planning. Support and education is also offered, including a family support group in Proctor House every Monday evening for families of McLean Hospital patients.
We also encourage patients to seek peer support from organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, many of which offer self-help groups on McLean’s campus and other nearby areas.
Nancy Merrill, PMHCNS, BC, Program Director
A board certified advanced practice psychiatric nurse for more than 30 years, Ms. Merrill has been working in McLean’s Substance Use Disorders Division for the past 20 years. During her time at McLean she has been involved in several national research projects including the COMBINE study, the Topamax medication study and the integrated group therapy study.
Michael Fiori, MD, Medical Director
Dr. Fiori is a board certified psychiatrist with training and expertise in both the psychological and biological underpinnings of psychiatric disorders. He specializes in the treatment of persons struggling with substance use and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Fiori also teaches and supervises residents and students and supports ongoing research at McLean.
Christopher A. Richard, BSN, RN, Nurse Manager
Joining McLean Hospital after almost 20 years working at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital Locked Psychiatric unit, Mr. Richard is experienced in the de-escalation and management of aggressive patient behaviors and trauma informed care. He also focuses on the education and training of program staff.
Hilary S. Connery, MD, PhD, Clinical Director, Substance Use Disorders Division
Dr. Connery’s expertise includes the treatment of opioid use disorders and co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders. She was a contributor to the APA Practice Guidelines for the treatment of substance abuse and is an investigator in the New England Consortium of the NIDA Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Connery is also the addiction psychiatry rotation director for the MGH/McLean Adult Psychiatry Residency Training Program.
Roger D. Weiss, MD, Senior Consultant
Currently chief of the Substance Use Disorders Division, Dr. Weiss’ career has focused on treatment and clinical research with substance-dependent patients. He has authored over 300 publications, including several books, and is the recipient of numerous National Institutes of Health grants for developing integrated group therapy, as well as leading a multisite treatment study of prescription opioid dependence.
Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH, Senior Consultant
Dr. Greenfield is an addiction psychiatrist, clinician and researcher. Her research focuses on treatment, gender differences, and health services as relates to substance use. She is a recipient of National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funding for mentoring in substance use disorder patient-oriented research as well as for developing and testing a new manual-based group therapy for women with substance use disorders.
Our multidisciplinary team of clinicians and support staff includes board-certified addiction psychiatrists, licensed psychologists and family therapists, registered nurses, and mental health specialists. Working in close partnership with patients and families, we create and provide high-quality care tailored to each individual’s needs.
This well-trained team has extensive background in the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions. Our staff have experience working with patients from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds from across the country and around the world.
The Substance Use Disorders Division is led by Roger D. Weiss, MD.
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program provides safe and secure short-term care on the hospital’s main campus in Belmont, Massachusetts.
The program is best suited to individuals ages 18 and older struggling with a substance use disorder with or without co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder.
For further information about our program or to make a referral, please contact our admissions coordinator:
The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Inpatient Program is covered by most insurance providers. McLean Hospital accepts Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, and many private insurance and managed care plans, though substance abuse inpatient services are not available for Medicaid beneficiaries. We understand that navigating the insurance system can be challenging, which is why we assist prospective patients to help determine eligibility. We welcome your questions and concerns.
More information on insurance providers accepted by McLean Hospital may be found on the Partners HealthCare website. You may also find it beneficial to review McLean’s patient billing and financial assistance information.
The program is located on the Belmont campus, in Proctor House. For more information on directions, parking, and local accommodations, please visit our Maps & Directions page.
Our program focuses on treating adults with substance use disorders, with or without co-occurring psychiatric conditions. We provide care for those who seek a structured, secure detoxification program.
Family involvement is strongly recommended. With permission of the resident, family members can be involved in assessment, treatment, and aftercare planning.
The program is non-smoking.
Visiting hours are daily, generally around lunch and dinner times, with some extended weekend hours.
Cell phone use is not allowed. Cell phones brought to the program are locked in a safe and returned upon completion of the program.
The treatment team works closely with the individual as well as with family, significant friends, and outside providers to develop a personalized aftercare plan. Recommendations by staff are made based upon clinical needs, progress made during treatment, and long-term treatment goals.
All requests for medical records should be directed to McLean’s Health Information Management Department.
To complement our programs’ services and encourage individuals’ initiatives in their own treatment course, many self-help groups are hosted by McLean.
McLean is dedicated to maintaining high-quality and effective patient care. To ensure that those standards remain at the highest level, we utilize a number of feedback instruments and quality indicators. Among these tools are the Perceptions of Care survey which monitors patient satisfaction and BASIS-24™, a psychiatric outcomes measurement tool created at McLean and widely used in the US and around the world, which delivers feedback on the patient care experience.