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Northern Light Mercy Hospital - State St.

144 State Street, Portland, Maine, 04092
Addiction can be a terrible thing. It can potentially endanger your life, affect your loved ones, imperil your job and your future. And certainly, it’s a disease that usually can’t be conquered alone. Depending on the type and level of addiction, in-patient treatment may be necessary, along with a long-term plan for recovery. The Mercy Recovery Center offers the largest substance abuse treatment center in Maine for adults that treat the entire spectrum of substance abuse, from alcoholism to drug addiction – one step at a time…one day at a time…one person at a time.

Facility Highlights

  • Medication Management
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Group Therapy


  • 12-Step

    The term “12 Step Program” describes a way to recover from addiction that is based on the model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Many drug and alcohol treatment centers base their treatment on 12 steps – the first three of which are situational, the next four addressing the practical issues created by the addiction, followed by two steps focused on making amends for hurting others. Steps 10 and 11 involve a deeper examination of the previous steps and the final step is focused on helping others avoid and recover from addiction.
  • Medical Detoxification

    Drugs and alcohol have widespread effects throughout your body, including but not limited to the addiction and/or physical/psychological dependence that develops with substance abuse over time. Many organ systems are affected by addiction and will react to withdrawal. The term “medical detoxification” means that there is a trained and licensed medical professional onsite to monitor your vital signs and protect your physical and emotional health as your body goes through withdrawal.

Facility Settings

  • Hospital

Meet the Staff

  • Mark R. Publicker, MD
    Mark R. Publicker, MDDoctor
    Dr. Mark Publicker, former Regional Chief of Addiction Medicine for Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic Region (covering the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan region) joined the Recovery Center team on November 17, 2003. Dr. Publicker has directed a multi-disciplinary health center with 80 physicians, 800 staff and more than 40,000 patients. He brings to his position a wealth of experience in motivational interviewing, chronic pain management, and addiction medicine.
  • Dr. Benjamin Grasso
    Dr. Benjamin GrassoDoctor
    Benjamin C. Grasso, MD, has been named the Medical Director of Behavioral Health, a department of Mercy Hospital. He will be responsible for clinical and administrative oversight for Mercy’s Recovery Center, Psychiatric Consulting Service and the New England Eating Disorders Program. Dr. Grasso is board certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1990). A New Jersey native, he earned his bachelor’s degree at SUNY Binghamton (NY) and received his medical degree from Albany Medical College (NY). Dr. Grasso did his psychiatry residency at the University of Virginia School of Medicine (VA) and completed his fellowship at the National Institutes of Mental Health, Neuropsychiatry Branch in Washington, D.C. Dr. Grasso most recently worked with the Veterans’ Administration.

Treatment Center Links

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Mercy Hospital, located in Portland, Maine, is part of a faith-based network of hospitals that, according to its website, believes in "carrying out the healing work of Christ by providing clinically excellent, compassionate health care for all, with special concern for the poor and disadvantaged." The hospital runs a dedicated adult outpatient substance abuse treatment unit that offers one of Maine's seven (3.5 percent) partial hospitalization programs (PHP) along with one of the 44 (22.1 percent) intensive outpatient programs (IOP) in the state.


Upon admission, all clients receive a comprehensive medical assessment and substance abuse evaluation. The partial hospitalization program meets five days per week, for six hours each day. Length of the program varies from person to person, but most patients remain in PHP for four to eight days. During this time, individuals participate in group sessions and work with a therapist to create a continuing care plan.

Once clients are ready to move on, they can be admitted to the intensive outpatient program. It should be noted that Mercy Hospital’s IOP does not provide any medical treatment; issues that are psychiatric, medical, or medication-related are the sole responsibility of the client. All therapy is conducted in a group setting, though clients occasionally meet with a therapist to review their treatment and continuing care plans. A morning IOP program is offered five days per week, and an abbreviated afternoon program runs Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Length of treatment varies, but most clients remain in IOP for two to four weeks.


According to the facility’s website, Mercy Hospital employs registered nurses, licensed therapists, physicians, and physician assistants.


Twelve alumni surveyed by Rehabs.com to date gave Mercy Hospital extremely mixed reviews. The most common concern was that the hospital offered only outpatient services, and several alumni felt that the center's lack of holistic offerings was a large weakness.

Most alumni praised the staff and gave the treatment relatively solid feedback. In a representative review, alum Nicole wrote,, “staff was excellent. Some had been in treatment there themselves years ago. Not being able to go outside was an issue."

The level of family involvement received largely differing reviews from former clients. An anonymous alum commented, "Great staff but Was difficult to communicate with family," and another echoed, "Visitation was stick and limited," with a third praising, "They encourage family involvement."

On secondary sites, Mercy Hospital as a whole also received highly mixed feedback, with an average rating of 2.6 out of five stars based on 44 Google reviews[1] and a 4.3-star average rating based on 424 Facebook reviews to date.[2] None of the written comments touched upon the substance abuse treatment unit in particular.


Three loved ones also offered solid feedback for staff and treatment. As one anonymous loved one wrote in a representative review, “Had the answers to all questions, compassionate and always friendly. Food wasn't the best but that's okay. Visitation was stick and limited but I guess that can be a good thing too. This place was amazing.” Family and friends who offered feedback largely credited this facility with their loved ones' sobriety: "a true help to my dad," wrote one anonymous reviewer; "helped my nephew," commented another.


June, the sole staffer surveyed by Rehabs.com to date, gave Mercy Hospital a highly positive review. "The facility is supported by dedicated staff and recovering volunteers," she wrote, and noted that the only downside was that the facility could use more of these individuals to keep the facility more fully staffed.

Employees of the hospital as a whole largely shared positive experiences on secondary sites, with a 3.9-star average rating based on 270 Indeed reviews[3] and a 3.7-star average rating from 70 current and former employees on Glassdoor.[4] The strong, religious-based community amongst the hospital staffers was frequently listed as the most prominent strength at Mercy Hospital overall.


According to Mercy Hospital’s website, most insurance providers cover treatment, as does Medicaid.


Northern Light Health, the operator of Mercy Hospital, offers a range of behavioral health treatment options that might be available at differing locations. Amongst its unique services are geriatric care, pediatric care, and programs to address eating disorders. The facility as a whole places a strong emphasis on being proactive about mental health and indicates that it will work with all clients on any related concerns.

[1] GoogleReviews
[2] https://www.facebook.com/pg/NorthernLightMercyHospital/reviews/?ref=pageinternal [3] https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Mercy-Hospital/reviews?fcountry=US&floc=Portland%2C+ME [4] https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Mercy-hospital-Portland-Reviews-EIIE200963.0,14IL.15,23IM699.htm

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