BRIDGTON – Crooked River Counseling will open a Peer Support Recovery Center at 25 Hospital Drive, the former Bridgton Hospital building, this spring.
The center is supported by a Maine Substance Abuse Mental Health/DHHS grant. Remodeling will begin once a contract is signed, with an anticipated opening in May, the Lakes Regional Substance Abuse Council said in a news release.
Research shows that having a recovery center, a safe place to support and be supported with and by others in recovery, decreases relapse and increases success for long-term recovery outcomes, the release said.
Programming will include linking members to employment, education and other recovery support services and family activities. CRC is looking to fill volunteer and paid staff positions for the center.
Catherine Clough-Bell, executive director of CRC, has also helped improve access to a variety of treatment and recovery services the center provides. She has developed relationships with seven local primary care providers who are prescribing suboxone, working together to provide integrated medication-assisted treatment and intensive outpatient programs using the matrix model — the gold standard of care for opioid use disorder treatment. Two additional MAT providers have been added this year. MSAMHS/DHHS grant money allows CRC to make such services accessible to people seeking opioid use disorder treatment who don’t have insurance and are not eligible for MaineCare. CRC served 116 clients last year who would otherwise not have accessed treatment. Additional grant funding is available to help more people in need of treatment.
CRC also partnered with Hannaford supermarket in Bridgton, which provided assistance for prescription MAT medications, and a nonprofit that last year provided 87 rides to people could get to their MAT doctor and treatment counseling appointments.
Bridgton MAT practices and CRC also assisted medical practices throughout the state last year in setting up integrated MAT/IOP programs, increasing access to the treatment in Maine’s most rural areas. Dr. Peter Leighton and Clough-Bell worked with the Maine Medical Association to produce a video shown by MMA throughout the state to help recruit physicians and clinicians to use the MAT/IOP integrated care model, increasing access to opioid use disorder treatment throughout Maine.
LRSAC works to facilitate community action, create meaningful strategic partnerships and recognize progress toward achieving community-wide prevention, treatment, policy and enforcement goals.
Another examples of LRSAC’s work is Melissa Gilman, of Tri-County Mental Health Services, who has been providing substance use disorder assessment and treatment counseling services at high schools in Bethel, Fryeburg and Naples for the past three years. Before working in the schools, she found need for such services in the Lakes Region, but also significant barriers (stigma, referrals, transportation and financial) that prevented people from accessing services.
TCMHS contracted with the schools to allow Gilman to spend four days a week providing substance use treatment counseling services to students, thereby removing many of the barriers for accessing services.
Find LRSAC Maine on Facebook, email email@example.com, call 207-803-9987 or attend its meetings 4:30 to 6 p.m. the second Thursday of the month at Bridgton Municipal Complex.