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Downeast Treatment Center Launches to Provide High-Quality Opioid Treatment

April 13, 2018

The Downeast Substance Treatment Network is thrilled to announce the opening of the Downeast Treatment Center, a collaborative service based in Ellsworth, Maine, which will provide high-quality medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders. The Downeast Treatment Center (DTC) is currently accepting referrals through the AMHC Access Center: 1-800-244-6431. The DTC plans to begin seeing patients on Monday, April 16, 2018, at 406 State Street, Suite 2, Ellsworth.

The Downeast Treatment Center will offer help and hope to individuals addicted to opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin, providing an integrated approach to recovery in the form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT consists of medication prescribed by a provider and group treatment administered by a licensed substance use disorder counselor. Peer recovery coaching will also be available for all participants. The treatment is open to all individuals in need, including those who are uninsured or underinsured. Self-referrals and provider referrals are accepted, along with referrals from other sources, including the law enforcement-led Project HOPE initiatives.

The Downeast Treatment Center is part of a broader “Hub and Spoke” model of care developed by the Downeast Substance Treatment Network partners. The DTC serves as the “Hub,” providing intensive MAT services during the induction and stabilization phases of treatment. Individuals typically begin treatment at the Downeast Treatment Center “Hub” by attending three group sessions per week and receiving a two-day or three-day prescription for Suboxone. As recovery progresses, the medication and group session visits transition to a weekly and then monthly occurrence.

When the treatment team determines that an individual has been stabilized, they will graduate from the Downeast Treatment Center “Hub” to a “Spoke,” consisting of a primary care provider and a substance use counselor of the individual’s choice. The primary care provider will continue treatment and administration of medication, and the counselor will provide therapy services as part of the continued MAT.

As recovery continues to progress, the individual will be supported in gradually tapering off of the medications when ready. Conversely, if a higher level of care is needed than the “Spoke” primary care provider can give, then the individual can return to the Downeast Treatment Center “Hub” for MAT services. Dozens of primary care providers in Hancock and Washington counties have committed to serving as “Spoke” providers in this collaborative model.

No medications or drugs will be kept on site.

The Downeast “Hub and Spoke” model has been developed and coordinated by the Downeast Substance Treatment Network, a group of community partners working to collaboratively expand patient-centered addiction care and to support successful, long-term recovery. The entire network has been instrumental in providing guidance, developing the model, and supporting the launch of the Hub and Spokes. Key coordinators for the Downeast Treatment Center include AMHC, which serves as the licensed service provider; MDI Hospital, which is providing the clinical prescribing staff for the program; Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, and MDI Hospital, which are providing key funding to support the program and to ensure access to all; Healthy Acadia, which convenes the Network and planning efforts; along with Bucksport Regional Health Center, Washington and Hancock county medical and substance treatment providers, and others who will serve as part of the system of “Spokes.” Additional partners who have made this collaboration possible include Health Equity Alliance, Opiate Free Island Partnership, recovery community representatives, local law enforcement, state and federal representatives, drug court, and others.

Generous funding from Maine Health Access Foundation, the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation, and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, has provided critical support for the planning and launch of this model.

The Downeast Treatment Center will be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To schedule an intake appointment, call the AMHC Access Center at 1-800-244-6431.

News Coverage

WABI-5: New Opioid Treatment Center Opens in Ellsworth

Mount Desert Islander: New Medication-Assisted Opioid Treatment Facility


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