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Maine Helps Addiction Treatment Centers

January 12, 2017 – Recently, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services awarded funds to addiction treatment centers, including Discovery House of Calais and Acadia Hospital of Bangor. This is a triumph for Maine addiction treatment centers. They spent many years defending their very existence.

The Role of Addiction Treatment Centers

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Discovery House Program Director, Brent Miller speaking out in a 2013 Bangor City Council meeting.

Discovery House Program Director, Brent Miller frequently met with community members and state officials. The goal was to increase funding, decrease overdoses, and to correct the stigma associated with addiction and forms of treatment. After countless media interviews, town hall meetings and organization collaborations he brought Discovery House to the forefront of the fight. Brent became a voice for patients, families, and even competitor clinics that were facing the challenge of being defunded. As he told The Bangor Daily News, “I think people are starting to understand that opiate addiction treatment is really essential to solving the problem and getting a handle on the disease…”

Enough is Enough

Communities nationwide are reluctant when hearing of a methadone clinic opening in their town. The mantra, “not in my backyard” has become a common response. However, we know more about the nature of addiction now. Unfortunately, many have learned this through personal tragedy and loss. In 2012, the overdose count reached 163 people in the State of Maine. Enough was enough for Mainers when overdoses in 2016 exceeded 270. Treatment needed to be an effort supported by officials and members of the community alike.

Purpose of the Funds

DHHS funds awarded total $2.4 million. The sole purpose is to support medication-assisted treatment programs. This money will not increase the allowable patient count at these treatment programs. However, it will help to fund treatment for low-income and non-insured patients. This is great progress toward supporting those already in recovery, and an encouraging sign for those seeking recovery.

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/20/news/bangor/bangor-to-see-influx-of-funds-to-fight-drug-addiction/

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/07/16/news/bangor/officials-defend-mission-after-lepage-says-hes-trying-to-close-methadone-clinics/

https://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/12/news/bangor/bangor-council-rescinds-methadone-clinic-ordinance/?ref=topStories4Thumb

http://bangordailynews.com/2016/12/20/politics/lepage-plan-to-add-2-4-million-for-addiction-treatment-wins-praise/?ref=relatedSidebar

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Operation HOPE in Waterville

Operation HOPE (Heroin Opiate Prevention Effort) of Waterville, ME is slated to commence in January 2017. Waterville Police is partnering with PAARI (Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative), Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Maine General Health, Healthy Northern Kennebec and Discovery House / Acadia Healthcare to increase the accessibility of treatment. The hope is that it will increase the likelihood that people will seek out treatment.

This treatment-focused program will help those suffering from opioid addiction. It will allow citizens to walk into the police department to seek help with their addiction. And they can do so without fear of arrest if they are willing to enter treatment. Next, they will receive a screening for eligibility and may even be qualified for payment assistance.

Partnering with Discovery House

operation-hope-discovery-houseAs one participating Operation HOPE treatment center, Discovery House will work with officials to provide services for affected individuals in the region of Central Maine. After 28 years in operation, this CARF Accredited treatment center is poised to provide the range of services needed to combat the opioid epidemic. They offer counseling, medication maintenance, clinical and medical evaluations, as well as aftercare planning.

According to the CDC, 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Moreover, in 2015 alone, 272 people died from drug overdoses in Maine. Ideally, early education or diversion programs would be enough to slow this growing problem. However, the reality is that the approach needs to be multifaceted with a strong focus on treatment and recovery. 

 

http://www.centralmaine.com/2016/11/16/waterville-police-announce-substance-abuse-treatment-program/

http://www.pressherald.com/2016/08/22/drug-overdoses-deaths-continue-to-soar-in-maine/

http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

http://paariusa.org/about-us/

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Too Late for Some. Consequences of Maine Underfunding Addiction Treatment

discovery-houseThe Bangor Daily News (BDN)  helped give a public voice to substance use treatment facilities during these fiscally turbulent years in Maine. Individuals who are reaching out to get into treatment for their addiction are being wait-listed for long periods of time due to lack of state funding for opioid treatment programs. Maine is finally realizing the depth of their opiate problem and legislators are now taking steps to override the devastating changes. These changes have left thousands of opiate-dependent Mainers without treatment access.

Discovery House‘s Program Director Brent Miller spoke with Bangor Daily News about his clinic’s wait-list. Currently he has 550 methadone patients with approximately 61 people on their ever-growing wait-list. As soon as they are able to take in a new patient they call them, however, many times that individual has become unreachable for reasons like hospitalization, imprisonment or death from overdose. Brent told BDN, “You ought to celebrate that a person is reaching out to get well…We impugn them at every turn and make it difficult for them to actually do it. That’s why it’s a miracle that people are able to fight through the prejudice and actually get into recovery.”

There are whispers of treatment facility reimbursement rates being raised, but for now its just a waiting game. Read the full article

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Discovery House Opens New Location in PA

Discovery House Opens New LocationDiscovery House, The Center of Recovery and Hope, has been treating individuals affected by opioid addiction since 1989. As CARF-accredited facilities, they serve Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Utah providing a wide range of recovery services including medication assisted treatment, counseling and aftercare planning.

On behalf of everyone here at SMART, we would like to congratulate our long-standing partner, Discovery House, on the opening of their newest location in Mechanicsburg, PA.

For years, we have seen their dedication to helping patients succeed and fostering the community awareness that brings them to the level of a trusted recovery resource in the areas that they serve.

With nineteen locations in four states, Discovery House is poised to continue providing the personalized patient care and recovery services that they are known for… while extending their outreach even further.