NEW BEDFORD (CBS) – Tuesday Desrochers has seen the worst of addiction. We first met her in 2017, just 6 months after her 25-year-old son Caleb Bethoney died of an overdose.
“He gave me a big hug, a big kiss, and that was it, and that was the last time I saw him” Desrochers said in 2017.
Now she is fighting to shave her older son Max, who was recently released from prison and is now in the throes of addiction himself.
Related: Opioid Recovery Resources
“He could die, you know? He, at any time, could pick up the wrong thing if he relapses and he could die and I could lose another son,” Desrochers told WBZ-TV in a recent interview.
Caleb died while living in an unregulated sober house. Tuesday says trying to get her son Max into more formal treatment has been frustrating.
“So we have this bottleneck and we need to grow the capacity of the rest of the treatment system,” says Jared Owen with the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery.
“Now because we don’t have enough capacity in long-term residential treatment, people are staying in these TSS or CSS facilities for much longer than is designed” says Owen.
A TSS or “Transitional Support Service” is a step for people in recovery between detox and long term treatment. It’s where Max is waiting for a bed at a recovery home to open up.
“It could be months we have no idea how long it’s going to take,” his mother said.
Massachusetts is working to increase access to care by having Mass Health take over the payments for such treatment.
“And the idea is with those increased Medicaid dollars we can buy up to 500 more beds so people can get treatment long term when they need it,” Owen said.
The need is great. The Massachusetts Department of Health says that in 2017 while more than 6,400 people sought treatment in a recovery home, they had access to about 2,300 beds.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Desrochers said. “Because if this was cancer the treatment would be readily available.”
Web Extra: Jared Owen on options for treatment
This is the latest story in a series of WBZ-TV reports on confronting the opioid crisis in Massachusetts.