on - Session - 129th Maine Legislature
Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Project To Save Lives and Support People with Substance Use Disorder in Washington County
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, substance use disorder is a crisis in Washington County requiring a systems approach to combat the issue; and
Whereas, a pilot project in Washington County developed without the need for state General Fund money must be evaluated and provide data allowing for replication in other rural areas of the State; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore, be it
Sec. 1. Washington County Substance Use Disorder Pilot Project established. Resolved: That the Department of Health and Human Services shall establish the Washington County Substance Use Disorder Pilot Project, referred to in this resolve as "the pilot project," to develop a systems approach to providing services in a rural area for residents of Washington County with substance use disorder through helping to coordinate service needs among organizations and providers to help bridge any gaps in services and ultimately assisting individuals in accessing treatment and recovery services when the individuals are ready. The department shall work with Healthy Acadia as the lead agency in Washington County for developing the pilot project. The department shall provide advice and assistance to Healthy Acadia in applying for federal grant funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to fund the pilot project, including any requests for proposals required by this resolve.
Sec. 2. Telephone system. Resolved: That the Department of Health and Human Services shall work with Healthy Acadia to establish a central coordinating telephone system located in Washington County no later than January 1, 2020. The department may expand an existing hotline or use some other strategy to establish the telephone system. The telephone system must be staffed at all times so that it is available at any time to any person in Washington County. The telephone system must be made widely available to organizations in Washington County, including law enforcement, medical and emergency personnel, public officials, educational staff and members of the public, to connect those in need of substance use disorder treatment with counseling, referral services, peer services and recovery coaches and other related assistance. Telephone system staff answering the telephone calls must be qualified to provide counseling in addition to referral services. The department and the coordinating council shall develop a system that coordinates the central coordinating telephone system with the State's 2-1-1 system to ensure maximum access for any person who calls the telephone system. The coordinating council shall determine a method to collect data relating to calls received by the telephone system.
Sec. 3. Washington County Coordinating Council. Resolved: That the Department of Health and Human Services shall work with Healthy Acadia to establish and support the Washington County Coordinating Council, referred to in this resolve as "the coordinating council," consisting of up to 15 members representing the community and organizations in Washington County and surrounding areas involved in substance use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery, including a representative from Healthy Acadia as lead agency; a representative from the Department of Health and Human Services; members of organizations representing health care, including primary care, emergency care, hospitals, mental health agencies and providers of substance use disorder treatment, including faith-based treatment; members of law enforcement, including county jails; organizations involved in education, prevention and advocacy; a person involved in the local business community; and persons in recovery living in the area. The coordinating council shall choose a chair to preside over meetings, and it shall meet at least once every 2 months. The Department of Health and Human Services shall work with Healthy Acadia to ensure that an executive assistant coordinates record keeping and meetings and other administrative tasks. The coordinating council shall coordinate services in the pilot project, including access to the telephone system established pursuant to section 2 and accuracy of information relating to services, medication-assisted treatment, detoxification, residential and other treatment services, peer recovery and coaching services, education programs in schools, pain and chronic disease self-management classes, jail treatment programs and other programs as well as tracking barriers to treatment and recovery, facilitating system improvements to reduce or eliminate identified barriers and implementing the recovery resource fund pursuant to section 4.
Sec. 4. Recovery resource fund. Resolved: That the Department of Health and Human Services shall assist the coordinating council with developing a recovery resource fund offering flexible funds as part of a wraparound continuum of supports and services to increase success for individuals in recovery from substance use disorder. The use of the fund is in accordance with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration requirements, with an individualized approach, building on family strengths and filling gaps in the system of care to purchase goods and services not otherwise available to the family. The coordinating council shall implement and administer the fund, including recovery coaches or other similar persons in the process, and work with organizations and volunteers to secure additional funding. Payments from the fund are disbursed directly to providers of services and not as cash payments to the individual in recovery.
Sec. 5. Peer services and recovery coaching. Resolved: That the Department of Health and Human Services shall establish and support recovery coaching services to individuals with substance use disorder and to the families of those individuals in Washington County. A coordinator chosen by the coordinating council shall assist in developing, training and establishing peer supports and recovery coaches who provide volunteer services around Washington County, including ensuring that peers and recovery coaches are connected to persons in treatment and recovery, including through the telephone system established pursuant to section 2, and that peers and recovery coaches are available at all times, and in keeping track of the system of peers and recovery coaches. The department and the coordinator chosen by the coordinating council shall endeavor to provide assistance to volunteers such as recruiting, training, transportation assistance, facilitating connections to community organizations and other assistance.
Sec. 6. Evaluation program. Resolved: That the Department of Health and Human Services shall provide a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over health and human services matters no later than November 30, 2022 outlining the planning and implementation of the pilot project, services provided pursuant to the pilot project, details regarding funding expenditures, quantitative and qualitative evaluation, including data collected from the telephone system, and replicability of the pilot project. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over health and human services matters may report out legislation associated with the report to the First Regular Session of the 131st Legislature.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
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