AUGUSTA – Two state legislators are trying to help recovering addicts with different proposals.
Both bills aim to assist people who are in the midst of substance abuse recovery by providing them the help they need when they need it.
One bill proposes a phone line that would directly connect people to a recovery counselor.
“That person will actually talk with them about what their addiction is, what’s happening to them, what their needs are, and also say we have people who will help you through this process, which is the recovery coach,” said Rep. Anne Perry, D-Calais.
As it stands, recovering addicts needing assistance call 211 to get information on where rehab facilities are located but there is no phone number to reach recovery coaches directly.
Perry said there is a collaborative consisting of mental health, hospital and law enforcement officials — even recovering addicts — all coordinated by Healthy Acadia to help set up the phone system.
“And it costs us less to treat then it does to incarcerate, then it does to have somebody out there who is stealing, who is creating more addicts because they got to keep their addiction going. The best thing we can do as a society is treat our addicts,” Representative Perry said.
A bill submitted by Sen. Kim Rosen, R-Bucksport, proposes more funding for the Bangor Area Recovery Network.
“The BARN (Bangor Area Recovery Network) has lots of volunteers. It’s a peer group to help recovering addicts, so it’s very important to this area, but they really need more money,” Rosen said.