A person holds Narcan, a device designed to deliver naloxone. Naloxone can help reverse the effects of an overdose, and is being offered for free from health providers to help mitigate Maine's opioid crisis. Credit: Micky Bedell / BDN

A program to help new and expecting mothers combat the challenges of opioid use has been launched by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

The state department announced last month that 17 health care providers around the state are offering Maine Maternal Opioid Misuse — or MaineMOM — services. The program will provide counseling, treatment and other services that will help new parents to manage the impact of substance use disorder on their newborn.

The program is funded by a 5-year grant provided by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and is a step in the health department’s efforts to build a statewide system to help meet the needs of community members who are experiencing substance use disorder.

It also comes as the DHHS works to improve infant and child health through the Safe Sleep Initiative, as well as improving its child welfare system.

Officials hope that the MaineMOM program can reach at least 200 people over the next year, and will work to continue to expand access to resources on substance use disorder and how to integrate maternal care with substance use treatment.

Information on available services and where and how to access them can be found at MaineMOM.org.  

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.