Focus on Substance Use/Opioid Epidemic in Aroostook
In September 2020, Aroostook Mental Health Services, Inc. (AMHC) was the recipient of a Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Community Opioid Response Planning (RCORP) grant, which aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality of substance use disorder (SUD), including opioid use disorder (OUD) in Aroostook County.
“The first step in our 18-month planning grant was to develop a community needs assessment,” explained Erik Lamoreau, Project Coordinator. “Our goal was to hear from as many individuals as possible from northern, central, and southern Aroostook about what is working and not working, as we address the opioid crisis in our communities.”
A six-month effort has resulted in the 2020 Community Needs Assessment. “It is fitting that we release the document during National Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week,” said Lamoreau. “It is an important effort that outlines existing services, gaps in service and more importantly where we should focus our attention in supporting evidence-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs for Aroostook County.”
The agency is supported by the following Consortium members: Northern Maine Medical Center, Cary Medical Center, Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital, Houlton Regional Hospital, and the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office. In addition, feedback was provided by a variety of stakeholders, including members from the recovery community, the Emergency Management System, representatives of at-risk populations, and community and nonprofit leaders.
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $200,000 with 100% percent funded by
HRSA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.