COMMENTARY: Link House works to spread 'message of hope'

As many people in the community know September is National Recovery Month. This year honors the 30th anniversary of the initiative, marking three decades of spreading the message of hope that treatment is effective, and people can and do recover every day.

This year’s theme, “Join the Voices for Recovery: Together We Are Stronger,” emphasizes the need to share resources and build networks to support the many paths to recovery.

Did you know that for almost half a century, Link House Inc. has been helping clients face their challenges to recover from substance use disorders? As the fourth-oldest licensed residential treatment program in Massachusetts, we have great insight into the complicated path of recovery.

In fact, we have helped more than 5,000 people recover from substance use disorders at the Link House in Newburyport, The Elms and Progress House in Amesbury and the Maris Center in Salisbury. At these four residential facilities, men and women with substance use disorder can focus on staying sober and building healthy, independent lives.

We are at a critical crossroad in our history and we need your help. We hope you take this moment in time to get to know about us and the important work we have been and are doing in the community.

Substance use disorders and the opioid crisis have reached epidemic levels in Massachusetts, specifically right here in our neighborhood. We are often at capacity with waiting lists and are looking for ways to increase our footprint to service the growing demand. 

We continue to be challenged by the unfortunate but increasing needs of our communities regarding substance use disorder. Be it a parent, sibling, child, friend or neighbor, we are all within arm’s reach of someone in need of what Link House Inc. offers.

I am happy to report that this fall we will be opening an outpatient center that will provide assessment, treatment and referrals for mental health and addictions.

We are staffed by psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioners, master’s level licensed clinicians and recovery coaching will be added to our list of services. This will be a comprehensive center for the community to access information, treatment and ongoing support as well as a center for professional training and education. We are responding to an urgent need in the community for individuals to have immediate and easy access to treatment much sooner than they are currently able to. 

As one of the Northeast’s oldest nonprofit providers, we have a deep understanding of the population we serve and are eager to do more. National Recovery Month is the perfect time to welcome you to learn more about Link House Inc. and our plans for the future.

We launched our celebration in August with a float in the Yankee Homecoming Parade inspired by the support of the crowds. Our Appreciation BBQ this week is an annual event that kicks off National Recovery Month with a spirit of hope. Throughout the month, we will be raising awareness throughout the communities we serve with banners, media coverage and a Hope in Recovery sticker campaign with local food service business literally putting us on their menus, coffee cups and pizza boxes. We wrap up the month with Links of Hope on Sept. 26 at Blue Ocean in Salisbury. Our signature event will be emceed by comedian Jimmy Tingle and feature opening remarks by Gov. Charlie Baker.

John Broderick, senior director of external affairs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and former chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, will share his story of mental health and addiction from a parent’s perspective.

Frank Cousins Jr., former Essex County sheriff and now president and CEO of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry, will receive the Nick Costello Heroes in Recovery Award.

We thank the numerous businesses and individuals who have stepped up this month to support our efforts and event. A special shout-out to our Hero Sponsor, Newburyport Bank, who has been a supporter of our journey for over a decade and a half.  We hope you join them by aligning with Link House Inc. to make a powerful statement about your commitment to face addictions and the opioid epidemic head on.

Together, we will continue to provide those individuals and their families with substance use disorders with life-changing supports, empowering them to live sober, healthy, hopeful and productive lives. Learn how you can help by visiting

Gary Gastman is executive director of Link House Inc. 



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