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Politics

Mills Administration Boosts Funding To Combat Opioid Use Disorder

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Nick Woodward
/
Maine Public
Janet Mills at a press conference in March 2020 in Augusta.

Gov. Janet Mills today announced a sharp increase in the reimbursement rates for substance use disorder providers.

The governor earmarked $2.1 million in MaineCare funds in her biennial budget to increase access to residential programs and medically supervised withdrawal support for those struggling with addiction.

Increases in the substance use disorder residential daily care rate will range from 56% to 77%.

Maine Director of Opioid Response Gordon Smith says any loss of life in Maine because of drug addiction is unacceptable.

"We want you to stay alive, we will have harm reduction for you, if that's where you're at, but we also want to provide you with opportunities and avenues for treatment," he says.

Last year, 504 people died from overdoses in Maine, a record number and a 33% increase from 2019. Smith says the availability of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone has helped prevent the death toll from being even higher.

The funding increases for substance use disorder providers go into effect in November.