Maine launches statewide opioid recovery initiative

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A new recovery initiative launched by the Central Western Maine Workforce Development Board and Eastern Maine Development Corporation called “Connecting with Opportunities Initiative” will start Aug. 19, the collaborators said.

The new statewide initiative will help those directly or indirectly impacted by opioid use disorder, as well as those in healthcare and substance use disorder treatment who wish to work in jobs addressing the opioid crisis. Funded by a $6.2 million federal grant secured by the state’s Department of Labor, the initiative will provide financial support and guidance to eligible individuals through education, training, employment, and support services.

“While the pandemic has created social stress for all, we have not lost sight that Maine remains in the midst of a worsening opioid crisis that ends or diminishes thousands of lives in our state each year,” EMDC President and CEO Lee Umphrey said. “EMDC was pleased to help secure the grant and is working to be part of the solution by providing services for vulnerable individuals, families, and communities.”

The initiative will be launched in Androscoggin, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford, Somerset, Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties. EMDC and the Board will identify individuals to benefit from the program through partnerships with organizations like Maine’s Adult Drug Treatment Courts, community recovery centers, recovery residences, correctional facilities, and non-profits serving the opioid use disorder population.

The agencies will hold an information session on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 2 p.m. via Zoom. Anyone interested in registering to learn more about the initiative can contact Doug Dunbar at EMDC by e-mail ddunbar@emdc.org or by calling (207) 299-5626.

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