Published on December 03, 2018

Opiate epidemic grant

AUGUSTA, Maine – MaineGeneral Prevention & Healthy Living received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Health Research and Services Administration’s Rural Health Opioid Program to address the opioid epidemic in the Central Public Health District (Kennebec and Somerset County).

There were 418 overdose deaths in Maine in 2017, more than twice the number of deaths recorded in 2014. Emergency Department visits for opioid overdoses jumped 34 percent in 2017.

The MaineGeneral project, Partners for Recovery, seeks to:

  • Reduce the impact of opioid use disorder by strengthening and expanding partnerships, increasing treatment capacity and implementing systems related to screening and referrals.
  • Address underlying stigma of opioid use disorder impacting both individuals accessing services and the availability of treatment providers.
  • Provide ongoing health care professional training to increase and maintain a competent network of providers.
  • Support health care systems to implement workflow changes that enhance screening of opioid use disorder and care coordination.
  • Bring together families, community leaders, law enforcement, peer recovery programs, social service organizations, behavioral health professionals and medical providers to integrate and enhance current opioid use disorder initiatives.

MaineGeneral works with many community partners to address the opiate epidemic and with this grant intends to expand these partnerships.