BANGOR – A new initiative is being developed to help people impacted by opioid use disorder.
Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) of Bangor is launching an opioid recovery program.
“It’s designed to help people who are in recovery from opioid use disorder or have been affected by opioid use disorder,” EMDC Workforce Development Specialist Doug Dunbar said. “It’s also for people who are dislocated workers who want to go into a field like healthcare or treatment or recovery, which could help to mitigate the crisis.”
The program is called “Maine’s Connecting with Opportunities Initiative.”
It is funded by a $6.2 million federal grant secured by Maine’s Department of Labor.
“These grants are incredibly competitive, and the fact that we received it in this region and in this state is just a coup unto its self,” Bangor Area Recovery Network Executive Director Bruce Campbell said.
The goal of the program is to connect people both directly and indirectly impacted by opioid use with resources.
“The primary goal is to provide the skills and training they need to not only continue on their path to recovery but to succeed in the workplace,” EMDC President and CEO Lee Umphrey said.
Umphrey said the COVID-19 pandemic escalated the need for this.
“It’s a very vulnerable crowd, and just add a disaster to it, the pandemic and a forced isolation, it just makes it very hard for a lot of people,” Umphrey said.
They said this program is key in recovery efforts.
“Very often, they run into the barriers of lack of healthcare, lack of education, employment and housing,” Campbell said. “Those four barriers this project addresses.”
“Often times, people get into recovery, but they need the support and the stability of education and a paycheck to maintain their sobriety,” Dunbar said.
People interested in enrolling in the program can contact EMDC.