Governor Janet Mills and DHHS announces series of action to ensure people with substance use disorder can receive critical treatment and resources during the COVID 19 outbreak

Support for Maine people with substance abuse use disorder will be stepped up in light of Covid 19. Governor Janet Mills and Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew of DHHS announced a series of actions to ensure that Maine people affected by substance use disorder can receive critical treatment and resources during the COVID 19 outbreak.

“While physical distancing is our best tool to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we also have to recognize its impacts on Maine people, like those with Substance Use Disorder, many of whom rely on in-person support for treatment and recovery,” said Governor Janet Mills.

“We are working to both prevent and treat Substance Use Disorder during these unprecedented times,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. “I urge all Maine people to reach out to those who are struggling and their families to let them know that help is still available.

Governor Mills signed an executive order that temporarily relaxes restrictions on the syringe exchange programs, which are proven harm reduction strategies. For the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Executive Order 27 lifts the requirement that syringe exchange programs collect one syringe for every one delivered, allowing individuals to receive and return syringes on an as-needed basis. Syringe exchange programs may also more easily adjust their hours and, for mobile sites, their locations to best serve their clients.