This is the first in a series of ongoing Community Updates in the coming year focused on local efforts to make a difference in the opioid crisis in the Sebasticook Valley region and Maine.
A $1 million federal grant is helping communities in the Pittsfield area and beyond make an impact on the opioid crisis. Northern Light Health, in collaboration with Northern Light Sebasticook Valley Hospital, received the funding through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program. The program is a three-year initiative supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration to address barriers to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for substance and opioid use disorder.
The opioid crisis has hit rural communities hard. According to the region’s latest Community Health Needs Assessment, opioid use and the lack of accessible and affordable treatment for substance use disorder is a significant concern to community members. Overdose deaths in Somerset County have nearly doubled over the past ten years with eight deaths occurring in the first half of 2020. This is part of a statewide pattern of increased drug deaths. In the first half of 2020 there were 258 overdose deaths in Maine, and most were caused by opioids.
We join a group of community partners that will work together on the multi-year plan.
The group is called the Sebasticook Valley Opioid Response Network and its first meeting was held virtually on October 26, 2020. Members reviewed goals and objectives, which include improving the regional coordination and communication response for opioid use disorder, increasing community awareness, improving local access to treatment services, as well as improving clinical support for treatment and recovery.
Read the full article at https://northernlighthealth.org/…/Maine-Opioid-Crisis