Intervention Aroostook: 3.16.2021

Intervention Aroostook
Intervention Aroostook(wagm)
Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 7:33 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Recently, the Maine Department of Corrections announced the expansion of the

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program for residents of state correctional facilities who have opioid use disorder.

In part 2 of this week’s Intervention Aroostook, Shawn Cunningham talks to the Deputy Commissioner about the effort to help incarcerated individuals overcome addiction.

The Maine Department of Corrections is expanding their Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program for individuals incarcerated at state correctional facilities who have opioid use disorder. Deputy Commissioner of Maine State Corrections Ryan Thornell says the expansion will hopefully tackle the opioid crisis in Maine and growing number of overdoses.

Ryan Thornell Maine State Corrections Deputy Commissioner

“trying to get in front of the most recent trend in terms of overdoses and overdose deaths and so I do think this will aid in the states efforts to really turn that around and we’ve seen positive results from our efforts to date.’

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

Those efforts to date began with the launch of the initiative in 2019. Now the result of the Department’s 2021 expansion plan will be universal access to MAT for any MDOC resident

identified as medically appropriate, regardless of their sentence length, a rarity in correctional settings.

“all the way to making it universally available is because of the alarming trend have continued and our desire to really get out in front of it and make treatment services available to everybody.”

But he says there needs to be a critical next step along with treatment services...continuum of care and access to community resources...

“the transition from incarceration back out into the community and all the different components that come along with that and treatment is just one and so really we need to continue to establishing housing infrastructure for men and women to transition back into that is stable and we need to continue to bolster employment supports for them.”

Ultimately he says its about bolstering people...and that includes the recovery community...

“ultimately our goal is health and safety and public safety ad stronger communities.”

Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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