MILO, Maine (WABI) - There were almost 400 overdose deaths in Maine last year.
Recovery Centers have been opening rapidly to meet the demand and help those who are suffering.
In Milo, two counselors are hoping to break the cycle of addiction.
“The gentleman had overdosed in Sebec and the person he was with drove him over to Milo to look for help. I resuscitated him on the sidewalk in front of the town office.”
This is the new norm for Milo Police Chief Damien Pickel.
“This would be our Narcan kit that we carry. All the cruisers have it.”
The opioid epidemic has reached every corner of the United States, hitting small Maine communities like Milo the hardest.
“We’ve had many overdoses in the Piscataquis County area, and Milo as well.”
But hope for recovery is now in sight.
“When he answered the phone and we told him who we were, he goes, ‘I’ve been waiting for your call.’ And I said really?”
“I’ve been waiting for something like this for several years now.”
Your Recovery Opportunity. The name speaks for itself.
It’s a substance abuse counseling practice located in the heart of downtown Milo.
“One of the first steps is to realize that there’s an opportunity here to get treatment.”
Jane Irish and MaryAnn Combs are alcohol and drug abuse counselors.
Prescribing Suboxone to addicts is just part of the recovery process. Mental health, they say, is just as important.
“They turn to drugs. So they don’t have to feel that stuff anymore. That’s what we’re here for to talk to them about those emotions and work through them.”
“Arresting addicts is not going to solve the problem. You can’t arrest yourself out of this opiate crisis.”
“That’s not really what this town needs. They need to know that some people care and that know about treatment I know about recovery. And that’s what we’re here to offer.”
Eliminating the stigma starts with a conversation without judgement.
An opportunity these ladies say can help addicts get their lives back on track.
“They get their families back. They get self-esteem. They become happy. You have to change your life around and it’s really amazing to see what happens when people do embrace recovery.”
“It affects me very deeply. I care about this town. I care about the young people, especially in this community. And we want to make sure that they stay away from this.”
Individual and group counseling are available at your recovery opportunity.
Jane and MaryAnn say their rates are affordable. MaineCare and other healthcare plans are accepted and they work out cash plans for those who need it.
For more information, call 943-9113.