Directly north of Boston and across the Charles River is Cambridge, Massachusetts, the fifth largest city in the state with a population of 105 thousand. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England.
The site was originally chosen in 1630 due to its close proximity to Boston Harbor, which would make it easy to defend from attacks by enemy ships. The first houses weren't built until a year later and the settlement was called at the time "Newe Towne" and a few years later "Newtowne". It wasn't until 1638 when the name was changed to Cambridge, this was signed by a number of town residents who were themselves all alumni of the Cambridge University. These alumni included Thomas Shepard, Cambridge's church minister, Henry Dunster, Harvard's first president, John Harvard, its first benefactor and Nathaniel Eaton, its first schoolmaster.
Cambridge slowly grew as an agricultural village until 1790 when it entered a time of rapid growth that lasted all the way until 1840. A few years after this the city was officially incorporated as a city. Manufacturing was one of the biggest industries and an important part of Cambridge's economy for a long time, but this is no longer the case.
Today educational institutions are the city's biggest employers today. Harvard and MIT employ 20 thousand people together. Another major part of Cambridge's economy are technology firms. Several major tech companies were homed to Cambridge including:
- Analog Devices
- Bolt, Beranek and Newman
- General Radio
- Lotus Development Corporation
- Thinking Machines
Drug Courts, an Alternative to Jail:
Drug Courts in Cambridge, as well as all of Massachusetts are offering a new way out for addicts. Rather than simply send them to jail, they give them a chance to come clean from drugs and can have their charges dropped as well. There are several types of drug courts:
- Standard Drug Courts: These are for regular situations involving drug use or drug related crimes. Usually violent crimes are sent to the regular court system though and not to drug courts.
- Juvenile Drug Courts: These are for juvenile offenders and gives them an option other than juvenile detention centers or supervised probation.
- Family Drug Courts: These are for parents who would otherwise have their children taken away from them. These drug courts have proven to have a very high success rate of getting addicts off of drugs and reunited with their children again instead of sending them off to the foster care system.
As drug addicts gets released from prison or taken off of probation, only to appear once more in court for the same, or similar, charges, it is becoming increasingly more apparent that punishment does not handle addiction. Addicts of serious drugs often see every day as a punishment anyway and as real treatment for withdrawal is not available in prison and quitting "cold turkey" while on probation usually ends the same day probation does, it is time to start looking to real treatment.
Rehabilitation gives these people a real chance to not only stop using drugs, but handle why they turned to drugs to begin with.
Hepatitis C Resurgence:
Opiate and opioids have been one of the fastest growing drug trends lately and with them came a resurgence in transmittable disease. Hepatitis C is one of these that has been increasing heavily due to the sharing of needles among drug users.
In the past few years there have been over 2 thousand cases of Hepatitis C being contracted by people in the under 30 age group and heroin and other similar drugs are believed to be the cause of this spread.
Despite the controversy that surrounds the subject, this does make a good point for needle exchange programs. These programs allow drug users to turn in their dirty needles and get clean ones back. Supporters of these programs say that they help stop the spread of diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis C, while also giving the exchange centers the opportunity to get drug users tested for diseases and maybe even get them into treatment for their addictions. Opponents to the program say that the despite the intentions of the program, the reality is that they are just enabling drug users to continue using.
Cambridge Treatment Options:
There are only three centers in Cambridge listed for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. Because of this low number you may need to look for options outside the city if the centers there do not fit what you are looking for.
The important thing to remember though is that whether you are dealing with heroin addiction or alcohol addiction, whether you are pregnant or not, the risks associated with addiction are far too great to be overlooked. If there is someone in your life that is dealing with addiction, doing whatever it takes to get them into recovery is time well spent.
The centers available in Cambridge are:
Casper, Inc: This is a rehab center for women that offers halfway house, sober living and residential long term treatments. They have special programs for seniors, pregnant women, women with HIV or AIDS as well as criminal justice clients. They don't accept insurance, but do have sliding fee scales and payment assistance programs.
Concilio Hispano, Inc.: This is an outpatient only program, but does have special programs for DUI and DWI offenders. They do not accept insurance but have sliding scale fees.
Prevention and Recovery Center: This is an outpatient only program with special groups set up for adolescents and teens, seniors, men, women and DUI and DWI offenders. They accept medicaid, medicare, private health insurance, military insurance and self payment.