The Maine Health Access Foundation granted $1.5 million towards opioid addiction treatment

$1.5 million grant to treat opioid addiction

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- As the number of deaths in Maine from opioid addiction rise, the cries from communities and lawmakers grow louder to find more options to help addicts.  The Maine Health Access Foundation stepped in to offer some help by granting $1.5 million in funding for ten organizations working in 13 Maine Counties.

The executive director of Amistad, Brian Townsend said, "this has been different for a while now, different in a bad way, with a body count that we're not used to and with seemingly no real outlets for solutions. So being able to start to turn the curve on that is profound and we're all very really excited about this."

The money is intended to help increase treatment capacity in primary care settings for people who may not have insurance or cannot afford treatment.  It will be done in the form of 10, two-year projects.

Pat MacKenzie of Kennebec Behavioral Health said, "it's about long term recovery and sustaining it in our community, strengthening our community so that we can get better at helping everyone be healthy and achieve the wellness they want."

Prior to this grant, some facilities didn't have the financial support to pursue this kind of treatment, but now this grant provides that pathway. 

"There are some avenues to get there to find solutions because this epidemic, this health issue, addiction to opioids does not discriminate against anyone," said MacKenzie.

With this grant, organizations say they have hope they can make an impact on addiction in the state. 

Townsend said, "we're going to save people's lives with this. It's hard to express how big this feels."

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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