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Portland Hospital Launching New Program For Opioid Users

Northern Lights Mercy Hospital in Portland is launching a new program to help opioid users who wind up in the hospital's emergency room.

A hospital Vice President, Melissa Skahan, says the program, in cooperation with the state, will allow emergency room patients to begin a recovery program right then-and-there.

"We connect them with a recovery coach. And that recovery coach attends their next appointment for treatment,” she says. “They connect them with sober housing resources."

Patients will be assigned a "navigator" who will help them obtain health insurance and work opportunities via connection to Maineworks. Skahan praises the state's involvement.

Under Governor Janet Mills, the state is backing more medication-assisted treatment which is also part of Mercy's recovery program.