The increase seen at Link House isn't an isolated phenomenon. As Massachusetts wrestles with a deadly outbreak of heroin and prescription drug abuse, increasing demand for long-term recovery beds has health officials turning to group treatment homes such as Link House, and "sober homes" for much-needed housing and recovery. There are several of the latter in greater Newburyport, including The Elms and Progress House in Amesbury.
Gary Gastman, the new executive director for Link House, Inc., sees the frustrating every day. The non-profit umbrella corporation headquartered in Salisbury, Link House, Inc. runs substance abuse recovery initiatives for both men and women at facilities in Newburyport, Salisbury and Amesbury, including Link House, the Maris Center for Women, Progress House, the Elms of Amesbury and Moore's Way.
"This is a very serious house; you become friends very quickly here because we're all committed to the same thing," Huberdeau said. "Link House has a reputation of being a hard house to get through. We're all very serious about recovery here. This is a non working house; we can't work for the first five months because we're here to work on ourselves."