News Article Details

Addiction Treatment Agency Rebrands, Expands

Hartford Courant - 10/10/2018

Oct. 10--Hartford Dispensary, one of the longest standing medical organizations in the state, is changing its name to reflect its expanding addiction and mental health services.

The new name, Root Center for Advanced Discovery, also honors one of the co-founders of the Manchester-based nonprofit, Dr. Joseph E. Root, who provided free treatment to patients out of his Pearl Street office.

"As we continue to grow and add services to meet our communities' needs, we wanted a new name -- to acknowledge that we are and will continue to expand beyond what we have been known for," president and CEO Steven Zuckerman said last week.

The Hartford Dispensary opened in the capital in 1871, in the Brownell building at the corner of Ann Street and Asylum Avenue. It was Connecticut's first outpatient medical clinic.

In 1884, Root and Dr. M. Johnson helped reorganize Hartford Dispensary, and began offering free treatment out of their own office on Manchester'sPearl Street, helping those who couldn't afford private medical care.

They treated 467 patients their first year, 516 the second and more than 1,500 patients the third year.

One hundred years after the Hartford Dispensary first opened its doors, the organization recognized another unmet need in the treatment of heroin.

By then, in 1971, Connecticut's cities and small towns alike were awash in the opioid. The nonprofit's addiction treatment services became its hallmark over the next 47 years, guiding its eventual expansion to 10 locations statewide.

Now, the organization is working to add new offices across Connecticut and to partner with additional providers facing growing addiction challenges among their patient populations.

In the first half of 2018, Connecticut saw 515 fatal drug overdoses, many of them caused by the synthetic opioid fentanyl that's eclipsed heroin as the drug of choice for addicts.

To adapt to the continued opioid crisis, Advanced Recovery is also adding services for emerging addictions and an intensive counseling program for adolescents ages 13-17. That service, now accepting patients, is both for teenagers who are misusing drugs and for those who are at risk to start using.

"Oftentimes when there's addiction in the family, the children of addicts have a much higher rate of addiction themselves," says David Louden, whose marketing company serves Advanced Recovery. "There could be folks who are family members of current patients who could benefit."

The organization currently has three locations in Hartford, as well as clinics in Bristol, Manchester, New Britain, New London, Norwich, Torrington and Willimantic.

They provide addiction treatment services including medication-assisted treatment, intensive outpatient counseling and mental health services for nearly 6,000 patients per day.

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(c)2018 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

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