After months of planning, preparation, and development, all five law enforcement agencies in Lincoln County are ready to launch the Bridges to Treatment program. This is a program of the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative that formally signed a commitment on July 15 to work together to address addiction in Lincoln County.
The Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative has several strategic goals. Those goals include reducing the number of opiate overdoses, expanding access to addiction treatment options, reducing the stigma associated with addiction, and seeking addiction treatment. The Bridges to Treatment program is focused on expanding the law enforcement response to addiction. Police officers and deputy sheriffs will intentionally be proactive in reaching out to individuals in their communities suffering from addiction and look to connect those seeking help to local resources. Officers and deputies will not be doing this alone; they will have the assistance of community member volunteers called Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative “angels.” These angel volunteers have been screened and trained by Mid Coast Hospital’s Addiction Resource Center staff and the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative steering-committee team to respond to law enforcement agencies throughout the county when an individual presents, looking for help.
The Central Lincoln County YMCA has taken an active role in this collaboration through its program and outreach coordinator, Karen-Ann Hagar. She and Deputy James Read, from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, will be heading up the Bridges to Treatment program county-wide moving forward. Read will serve as the connection between law enforcement agencies and Hagar as the volunteer angel coordinator. This has truly been a collaborative effort, as trainings and meetings have been hosted by local business owners, the Damariscotta town office, CLC Y, and LincolnHealth. The volunteer angels come from all backgrounds and experiences and have brought energy and dedication to the project. The Bridges to Treatment program is seen as one step toward reaching the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative’s goals.
The collaborative’s steering committee will continue to meet separately from the Bridges to Treatment program to look to address other strategic goals: primarily to improve access to local treatment, community education around addiction, and stigma reduction across all populations, and to improve communication between the networks of providers that are working to treat and prevent addiction.
To learn more about becoming a Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative angel volunteer, contact Hagar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-9622. To learn more about getting connected to the Bridges to Treatment program, contact Read at email@example.com or 882-6576.