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Hampden Detox Facility To Open Doors Wednesday

A.J. Higgins
Maine Public

It’s been two years since the Maine Legislature appropriated money for a 10-bed detox center in the Bangor area. On Wednesday, Wellspring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services will open the doors to its new facility in Hampden.

It only has 10 beds, but the new center could care for as many as 100 clients per month, according to Suzanne Farley, Wellspring’s executive director in Bangor. Farley says the facility will offer a residential social setting for people who are trying to make opiates, alcohol and anti-anxiety drugs part of their past.

“I’m pretty sure that people are going to understand that this is a critical part of the continuum of care,” she says. “This is withdrawal stabilization — the first phase. Once folks go through this process, we’ll be looking to hook them up with community support coordinators.”

Farley says it took time to find the right location, make the necessary renovations and hire sufficient staff to care for the program’s clients.

“Anytime you’ve got construction, there’s bumps in the road that you’ve got to navigate,” she says. “We thought we would be open in April but the facility wasn’t quite ready yet, so we had to kind of wait. We also had some trouble finding staff, there’s a workforce shortage in the state of Maine.”

The new detox center in Hampden is one of two of its kind in Maine. The other is the Milestone Foundation, a Portland facility that has 16 detox beds and 41 homeless shelter beds.

Correction: Wellspring’s executive director in Bangor is Suzanne Farley, not Susan. Milestone Foundation has 16 detox beds and 41 homeless shelter beds, not 41 detox beds.