Link House Inc. is an 18 bed non-profit that provides free treatment to male individuals living in Massachusetts, all thanks to their Department of Health. Founded by philanthropist John Ashford Link in 1972, Link House has since created an inpatient, 12-step based program that has helped thousands of men seeking relief from alcoholism and addiction.
Newburyport is a small coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, 35 miles northeast of Boston. This historic seaport has a population of fewer than 20,000, and is home to Link House’s three-story craftsman built in the 1800s. Each room is pretty bare bones with at max three men bunking together, though sometimes only two.
Treatment and Staff
Since they don’t offer detox, each client must be 30 days clean from drugs and alcohol to be admitted. While this facility serves primarily alcoholics and addicts and doesn’t advertise as dual diagnosis, occasionally clients are still admitted under the care of an outside psychiatrist, provided they are stable, high-functioning and med-compliant. Link House is a comprehensive six-to-nine month program, which consists of weekly one-on-one counseling as well as referrals to outside psychiatrists or therapists when needed. Daily group therapy cover topics like relapse prevention, gambling addictions, family dynamics and other pertinent issues. Clients are also required to attend 12 AA meetings per week.
In the daytime, Link House is staffed with all credentialed counselors, with a favorable staff-to-client ratio of roughly three-to-one. The night staff, while not professionally licensed, are all in recovery themselves and are still able to assist with any needs the men may have; there are no medical or psychological professionals on-site, though referrals are available.
Days start at 6:30 am, when residents have breakfast and are expected to participate in assigned morning chores. Afterwards they attend their first morning group and eat an early lunch so they can attend a local AA meeting at noon. Once back at the house, there’s more group therapy, sometimes in smaller groups to address specialized topics like seeking employment or working towards a GED. At 2:30 pm, all the men enjoy some leisurely free time to smoke, use computers or bond with one another until dinner. Each evening it’s off to another 12-step meeting followed by lights out at 10:30.
After six months, residents get their first 12-hour pass and if that goes well, they earn a 24-hour pass where they can spend time with their family. While living at Link House, clients are encouraged to volunteer at the local Salvation Army or other charities to learn how to give back and integrate back into society.
Upon completion of the program, more than half of the residents transition to one of two affiliated sober living facilities in the area. While one of their sober living homes is only $25 a month, the other requires a third of whatever income the resident is taking in. Both houses are a step-down, offering residents a place to live while integrating back into society and continuing to attend mandatory 12-step meetings.
While Link House Inc. may not be for everyone, it still remains a well-established treatment facility supported not only by the local community but the state of Massachusetts as well. While there aren’t many extras, Link House Inc. still gives down-on-their-luck addicts and alcoholics a place to live, food, education and hopefully lasting recovery.
Link House, Inc. Corporate Headquarters
197 Elm Street
Salisbury, MA 01952
Link House Inc. Cost: $2250 (out-of-state, 3o days); free to Massachusetts residents. Reach Link House Inc. by phone at (978) 462-7341 or by email at [email protected]. Find Link House, Inc on their website
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