Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative

Law enforcement, medical providers sign onto recovery agreement

‘First step’ in fighting opioid addiction
Mon, 07/18/2016 - 12:00pm

    Representatives from Lincoln County’s law enforcement agencies and the county’s hospitals and recovery centers met on Friday to sign a memorandum of understanding, officially kicking off the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative. The signing happened in the courtyard at Skidompha Library in Damariscotta.

    The Collaborative is a multi-pronged effort to fight rising opioid addiction in Lincoln County, by partnering with law enforcement personnel, social services and medical agencies, along with community support. People suffering from addiction will be able to come to any of the county’s police departments or the sheriff’s office and seek help. Mid Coast Hospital and the Addiction Resource Center have made a commitment to make sure the patient is seen within two days. They will be shepherded through the process, from initial contact through their first appointments and beyond, by a community “angel” who will help them get the care they need.

    State Sen. Chris Johnson (D-Somerville) spearheaded the effort to get the program up and running in Lincoln County. “This is a positive first step in fighting opioid addiction in our communities,” he said. “Each signatory is making an important decision to make a difference in the lives of Lincoln County people.”

    Johnson was clear that this is only the first step. Training of law enforcement personnel will begin shortly, and the Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta will help with the training of the Angel volunteers.

    “Also in the works is a Sober House, where people in recovery can live and be supported,” he said.

    Sheriff Todd Brackett echoed the sentiment. “Today is an important beginning in stopping the scourge of opioid addiction in Lincoln County,” he said. “We have seen, firsthand, the connection between officers on the street and individuals suffering from addiction. This will give us another tool to help divert people from the corrections system into a program that can really help them make a new life.”

    Eric Haram of the Addiction Resource Center in Damariscotta praised the efforts. “To get this many heads together in a county system is highly unusual,” he said. “Together, we can make a real difference in peoples’ lives.”

    In addition to the sheriff’s office, Boothbay Harbor, Damariscotta, Waldoboro, and Wiscasset police are all taking part. LincolnHealth and Mid Coast Hospital’s ARC program are the two main medical groups participating.

    Anyone interested in learning more about becoming an Angel volunteer can contact Karen-Ann Hagar at the CLC YMCA, at 563-9622, to inquire about upcoming training sessions.