Addiction Treatment in Lowell, Massachusetts

Located in Middlesex County, Lowell is one of two county seats and the fifth largest city by population in the Commonwealth, home to almost 114,000 people. Nearly one-third of Lowell’s population is foreign-born and is this most ethnically diverse of all the cities that make up the Greater Lowell region.

According to the 2022 Greater Lowell Community Health Needs Assessment (GLCHNA), Lowell continues to struggle with economic disparity (17.3% of its population live below the poverty line), homelessness, and substance use disorders. Because Lowell has a large network of rehabs and treatment facilities, the majority of individuals who need substance use disorder treatment will go to an addiction treatment center in Lowell, MA.

Substance Use Statistics in Lowell, MA

Substance use disorders continue to take a heavy toll on the residents of Massachusetts, and Lowell in particular. The opioid epidemic touches every corner of the state, as does alcohol, marijuana, and other illicit drug use.

Respondents to the GLCHNA stated that substance use — including problematic alcohol consumption — are the third most important health issue, especially in light of the increase in overdoses and overdose deaths in recent in years.

Opioid Use in Lowell, MA

Opioid use and misuse continues to plague Massachusetts and Lowell, in particularly. In 2021, there were 2,290 overdose deaths across the state. From 2015 to 2021, of the 681 people who died as the result of an opioid overdose in the Greater Lowell region nearly 60% — 400 people — were Lowell residents. In fact, in 2021 the city’s opioid-related overdose death rate (53.2 per 100,000) was significantly higher than the state rate (30.2 per 100,000), and the highest of all the surrounding communities.

The increase in the number of opioid-related overdose deaths is largely attributable to the increase in fentanyl in the illicit drug supply. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, fentanyl was present in 93.3% of overdose deaths in 2021 — up from 41.9% in 2014.

Alcohol Misuse in Lowell, MA

Problematic alcohol use — which includes binge drinking and heavy drinking — continues to impact the state of Massachusetts. According to a 2021 report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 19.1% of adults in the state reported binge drinking in the past month, and 7.8% reported heavy drinking.

Marijuana (Cannabis) Use in Lowell, MA

Massachusetts is one of a handful of states in the U.S. that has legalized marijuana for both recreational and medicinal use. According to a recent study, 21.1% of respondents reported using cannabis products in the last 30 days, with the majority (56%) using it recreationally or for both recreational and medicinal purposes (28.5%)

Youth Drug Use in Lowell, MA

Drug use among young people in Massachusetts is considerably higher than in other parts of the United States. According to data collected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ 2021 Youth Health Survey:

  • 29.9% of high school students reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days. 
  • 14.4% of high school students reported binge drinking in the last 30 days.
  • 4.4% of middle school students reported drinking alcohol in the last 30 days.
  • 0.9% of middle school students reported binge drinking in the last 30 days.
  • 27.9% of high school students said they have used marijuana in their lifetime.
  • 17.8% of high school students said they have used marijuana in the past 30 days.
  • 4.8% of middle school students said they have used marijuana in their lifetime.
  • 2.5% of middle school students said they have used marijuana in the past 30 days.

According to the Health and Risk Behaviors of Massachusetts Youth, risk factors for drug use include:

  • Permissive parental perception of marijuana or drug use.
  • Mental health concerns, including feelings of depression, hopelessness, and sadness.
  • Lack of participation in extracurricular or group activities.
  • Food insecurity.
  • Witnessing violence or living with in a dysfunctional home environment.
  • Non-acceptance of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Local Addiction Treatment and Resources

Addiction treatment often begins with preventative measures, and these are generally run by community-based providers through state and federal grants. The Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition (MOAPC) has sought to educate the public on the hazards of opioid abuse and misuse, funding groups such as Drug Free Greater Lowell. Providing resources, educational information, and treatment resources, this community-based coalition aims to improve the overall health of the community by addressing opioid abuse at its root.

Locally, the Lowell Public Health division of the City of Lowell works with community partners and organizations to educate the public and offer preventative resources. The Greater Lowell Health Alliance (GLHA) operates a collaborate Substance Abuse and Prevention (SUP) Task Force to minimize drug and alcohol use among youth and adults within the local community.

There are several prescription drug and unwanted medication drop boxes and kiosks throughout the Commonwealth where people can dispose of medications safely and anonymously to ensure that they are not misused or diverted. The City of Lowell has an unwanted medication disposal kiosk at the Lowell Police Department.

Within Massachusetts, addiction treatment is offered by community-based providers that are managed and supervised by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS), a division of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Local providers offer various services, such as:

  • Detox.
  • Crisis services.
  • Assessments.
  • Individual, group, and family counseling.
  • Behavioral therapies.
  • Life skills training and education.
  • Relapse prevention skills and tools.
  • Medication management.
  • Co-occurring disorders treatment.
  • Support group meetings.
  • Transitional services, such as sober living homes.
  • Aftercare and recovery support programs and services.

Local providers, such as the Lowell Community Health Center (CHC) and the not-for-profit Lowell General Hospital, are licensed through BSAS to offer care and support to residents.

Additional Resources for New England and Lowell Residents

Towards the end of 2016, the Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, in conjunction with Lowell House, launched a program that would help individuals arrested for first-time drug-related and nonviolent offenses get into the Adult Diversion Alternatives Program (ADAP) before being arraigned. Instead of facing drug possession charges then, a person has the opportunity to receive counseling and addiction treatment programming to foster sobriety and recovery. The Lowell District Court also includes an adult drug court, which is a Massachusetts specialty court that allows eligible individuals charged with drug-related offenses who struggle with addiction to enter into a court-mandated treatment program instead of going to jail.

These diversion programs help individuals by offering reduced sentences or dropped charges after they complete the addiction treatment program as directed by the judge.

Groups like the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery (MOAR) provides resources for addiction recovery support for residents within the Commonwealth. Self-help, 12-Step programs, such as those offered by New England Region of Narcotics Anonymous (NERNA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Central Service Committee of Eastern Mass, provide peer support during recovery. These groups meet locally in Lowell, helping to minimize relapse and provide a healthy sober social network.

Addiction Resources for Families in Lowell

Another important component of addiction treatment is recovery and support for the whole family. Treatment programs often offer aftercare, recovery support, and alumni programs for people after completing rehab. These programs provide continuing support, encouragement, and fellowship with other individuals in recovery as well as sober activities and opportunities.

Families are also impacted by substance abuse and addiction, and the Learn to Cope organization has local meetings in Lowell for families of individuals struggling with addiction and those in recovery. The Massachusetts Al-Anon and Alateen also provide support for adolescents, families, and loved ones who are impacted by another person’s drug and/or alcohol use.

Opioid Treatment Program Lowell, MA

The Community Opioid Outreach Program (COOP) is a partnership between Lowell first responders (police officers and firefighters) and outreach workers from the Lowell House. They aim to help people struggling from opioid addiction who have overdosed and survived get professional coaching, support, and treatment.

Families and individuals are also able to obtain the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan (naloxone) without a prescription through a standing order from a local pharmacy in the state of Massachusetts. The Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) Program also offers more information and resources on how to save a life from an opioid overdose.

Getting Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Near Lowell

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol there is effective help available to help get you on the road to recovery and back to living the life you deserve.

To learn more about our different levels of care, and to find a treatment center near you, contact our helpful and knowledgeable admissions navigators 24/7 at . They are on hand to answer all of your questions, including how to use your insurance for rehab and how to start rehab admissions.

Outpatient Drug Treatment Lowell, MA

We understand that making the commitment to come to residential treatment isn’t always possible for everyone. AdCare Treatment Centers offers outpatient drug treatment near Lowell. To find out more, contact us today.


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