SOUTH PORTLAND — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services Office of Behavioral Health awarded Maine Behavioral Healthcare $1,307,357 to provide substance use treatment in ten Maine counties for people identified through the Treatment and Recovery Court process. MBH is collaborating with Maine Pretrial Services, Inc., which provides case management in each of Maine’s Treatment Recovery Courts.

The counties include Androscoggin, Cumberland, York, Franklin, Oxford, Somerset, Kennebec, Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo. The grant represented an 18-month commitment for MBH to provide comprehensive substance use treatment services, including co-occurring treatment for those with accompanying mental health diagnoses. Services are designed specifically for those who are facing substance use related criminal charges, are currently incarcerated or on probation with risk of incarceration. According to xx, xx% of incarcerated men and women have a substance use disorder making programs like this a key component in social functioning.

Through the TRC these individuals make a commitment to their recovery by participating in treatment delivered by MBH in coordination with members of the judicial system, including a presiding judge, probation workers, case managers with Maine Pretrial Services, the District Attorney, and defense attorneys.

The benefits are significant. “This program is critical in promoting community safety, and reducing recidivism and substance use among offenders, “said Tom Kivler, LCPC, MBH senior director of Substance Use Services. “Our evidence-based model of treatment can increase the likelihood of successful rehabilitation by implementing a blend of treatment, supervision, appropriate responses, and incentives.”

Kivler also said “It teaches people in the criminal justice system with substance use disorders to focus on the moral aspects of their illness, and the social consequences that may be associated with using substance.  As the client prepares to receive less support from this team and graduate from the program, treatment dosage and frequency is reduced.”

Once a participant graduates from the program, MBH offers continued services at any of its substance use treatment clinics located in Biddeford, Portland, Springvale, Rockland including via telehealth.

“We are proud to provide treatment to this population and enter into an exciting partnership with members of the community,” MBH President Kelly Barton said. “Through this work, we are modeling Maine Health’s mission of working together to make our communities the healthiest in America.”