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Updated: August 13, 2019

$6M in fed funds will help Maine fight opioid crisis

Susan Collins and Angus King Medill DC/U.S. Naval War College/Flickr U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, are supporting a bill that would help asylum-seekers attain employment sooner.

Maine has received a total of $5,997,351 from the federal government to help combat the opioid crisis.  The investment will enable Maine community health centers, rural organizations and academic institutions to establish and expand access to integrated substance use disorder and mental health services. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. 

The Integrated Behavioral Health Services program, which is designed to increase access to mental health and substance abuse services, awarded $167,000 to each of 15 Maine community health clinics:

  • Bucksport Regional Health Center
  • D.F.D. Russell Medical Center Inc.
  • Eastport Health Care Inc.
  • Fish River Rural Health
  • Harrington Family Health Center
  • Health Access Network, Inc. 
  • Healthreach Community Health Centers
  • Katahdin Valley Health Center
  • Maine Mobile Health Program Inc.
  • Penobscot Community Health Center
  • Pines Health Services
  • Portland Community Health Center
  • Regional Medical Center At Lubec Me Inc.
  • Sacopee Valley Health Center
  • Sebasticook Family Doctors

MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, MaineHealth in Portland and Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor each received $1 million through the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to support prevention, treatment and recovery programs.

The University of Maine System received $492,351 through the Opioid Workforce Expansion Program. Funds will enhance community-based training for students preparing to become behavioral health professionals with a focus on opioid use disorder and prevention, treatment and recovery services.

The funding provided by HHS was authorized through the 21st Century Cures Act, which was championed by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Angus King, I-Maine, and signed into law in December 2016, according to a news release.

In March, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Maine a $2.3 million grant to help it combat the opioid epidemic.

In 2017, overdoses claimed the lives of more than one Mainer per day, making it one of the top causes of death in the state. In 2016, there were more than 63,600 drug overdoses across the country.

The Maine grants were part of a $400 million package awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration, to support HHS's Five-Point Opioid Strategy, introduced in 2017. 

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