Gov. Paul LePage and Commissioner Mary Mayhew of the Department of Health and Human Services have taken a huge first step toward meeting the growing need for treatment of opioid addiction in Maine.
As an alliance of community-based behavioral health providers across the state, we applaud their efforts with this recent addition of 359 new slots for medication-assisted treatment. The slots will go to people without insurance who have no access to treatment currently. This is a critical step forward.
In the coming year, we hope to work with the administration to help also expand slots for residential detox and treatment, as well as further expand access to community-based treatment and recovery systems of care as the federal dollars come into Maine from the recently passed 21st Century Cures Act and as funding is added to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
With more people now dying daily from drug overdoses than from motor vehicle accidents, this increased access to treatment is desperately needed.
Catherine Ryder, board president
Malory Shaughnessy, executive director
Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, Maine