Senate unanimously supports Bellows bill to improve addiction recovery services in Maine

Posted: June 11, 2019 | Senator Bellows

On Monday, the Maine Senate unanimously voted for a bill from Sen. Shenna Bellows, D-Manchester, to improve addiction recovery services and outcomes in Maine.

“When someone places their trust in a recovery residence, they should have confidence in a basic quality of support and assistance they need to stay on a path of recovery,” said Sen. Bellows. “Creating a voluntary certification program is a small step in the right direction, and will prevent Maine from experiencing the heartbreaking and horrifying stories that have come out of other states.”

Drug overdose deaths in Maine have averaged approximately one person per day since 2014. While the rate declined in 2018, it remains at historic levels.

The bill, LD 1523 “An Act To Ensure the Quality of and Increase Access to Recovery Residences,” directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a voluntary certification process for addiction recovery residences. This recommendation was adopted unanimously by the bipartisan Opioid Task Force because recovery residences are such an important tool in the path to recovery.

The bill also directs the Maine State Housing Authority to create a pilot project to provide a short-term rental subsidy to certified recovery residences that provide medication-assisted treatment. This would help make sure that recovery residences are not cost-prohibitive for low-income Mainers.

LD 1523 was also unanimously approved in the Maine House of Representatives on Monday, and now faces additional votes in both bodies.