Maine lawmakers discuss bill to expand treatment for youth substance use disorder

Services would include detoxification beds in hospitals or residential settings.
Maine State House
Maine State House(WABI)
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The legislative Committee on Health and Human Services got public input today on a bill that would help with youth substance abuse.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Victoria Morales, hopes to expand treatment across the state.

Services would include detoxification beds in hospitals or residential settings as well as intensive outpatient treatment specifically for youth.

Morales hopes to create more educational programs and community-centered initiatives to prevent substance use as early as possible.

”Children are incarcerated because we don’t invest in the treatment they need for behavioral health and substance use disorder,” said Morales.

“Never in our organization’s history have we seen a greater need for timely access to youth and family centered substance use treatment,” said the CEO of Day One, Gregory Bowers.

The bill would use federal and state funding to develop these initiatives.

Morales says there needs to be treatment plans for behavioral health that don’t involve youth correctional facilities.

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