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April newsletter 2015


The Work Before Us: A Message from Michael Botticelli  -  Michael Botticelli, February 09, 2015
Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm Michael Botticelli as Director of National Drug Control Policy. The following message is cross-posted from the Office of National Drug Control Policy's blog.

Many great movements to change public perception and policy around a public health issue have been fueled by people with a disease speaking out publicly.

What is seen as someone else's problem -- someone else’s disease – takes on a new dimension when people speak up about it.    Such was the case when Betty Ford revealed her breast cancer diagnosis and her substance use disorder. Such was the case when Magic Johnson's revealed that he was HIV positive, spurring action to stem the AIDS epidemic. Yet, despite the fact that nearly every family and community in America is affected by a substance use disorder, those fighting to overcome this disease are too often hidden in the shadows of shame and denial.  It is whispered about. It is met with derision and scorn. 

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only 1 in 9 people with a diagnosable substance use disorder gets treatment.  Compare this to the treatment rate for diabetes, for which 72% of people with the disease receive care.  When treatment is provided for substance use disorders, it too often comes at the most acute stages of the disease when effective treatment is far more challenging and costly than in the early stages. Because substance use disorders have historically gone unidentified for far too long, and timely access to treatment has been far too difficult to come by, a person is expected to hit “rock bottom” before seeking help for a substance use disorder.

Standard medical care does not allow a diabetic to enter kidney failure before offering insulin.  Yet untreated substance use disorders routinely proceed unchecked until they have reached such levels of emergency.

In addition to the unnecessary suffering for patients and their families, our current approach costs the United States hundreds of billions a year in increased health care costs, crime and lost productivity -- over $223 billion related to alcohol and $193 billion related to illicit drugs.

Decades of scientific research have proven that substance use disorders are a health issue:  chronic medical conditions with genetic, biological and environmental risk factors.  Effective substance use disorders requires a comprehensive, public health approach involving evidence-based prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery support services.  The National Drug Control Strategy, the Obama Administration’s template for drug policy, outlines more than 100 action items across federal government to prevent drug use and its consequences.

Earlier this month, President Obama in his 2016 Budget requested historic levels of funding -- including $133 million in new funds -- to address the opioid misuse epidemic in the U.S. Using a public health framework as its foundation, our strategy also acknowledges the vital role that federal state and local law enforcement play in reducing the availability of drugs -- another risk factor for drug use.  It underscores the vital importance of primary prevention in stopping drug use before it ever begins by funding prevention efforts across the country. It sets forth an agenda aimed at stripping away the systemic challenges that have accumulated like plaque over the decades: over-criminalization, lack of integration with mainstream medical care, insurance coverage and the legal barriers that make it difficult for people once involved with the criminal justice system to rebuild their lives.

The implementation of the Affordable Care Act will dramatically increase coverage for treatment and ensures that services are comparable to other chronic conditions for more than 60 million Americans. This is the biggest expansion of substance use disorder treatment in a generation, and it will transform millions of lives.

All of these advancements, however, are not enough unless we fundamentally change the way we think about people with addiction.  There are millions of people in recovery in the United States leading meaningful, productive lives full of joy and love and laughter – and I am one of them.

Tonight, the United States Senate voted to confirm my nomination as Director of National Drug Control Policy. This is an honor I never dreamed of 26 years ago, when my substance use disorder had become so acute that I was handcuffed to a hospital bed. I accept this challenge with the humility and tenacity of someone in long term recovery.

I am open about my recovery not to be self-congratulatory, I am open about my recovery to change public policy.   

I have dedicated my life to treating drug use as a public health issue, and that’s how I approach this new role, as well.  I hope that many more of the millions of Americans in recovery like me will also choose to “come out” and to fight to be treated like anyone else with a chronic disease. By putting faces and voices to the disease of addiction and the promise of recovery, we can lift the curtain of conventional wisdom that continues to keep too many of us hidden and without access to lifesaving treatment.

It is time to make a simple, yet courageous decision to be counted, to be seen and to be heard.

Michael Botticelli serves as Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy. Today, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm him as Director of National Drug Control Policy. 



Alliance for Substance Abuse prevention newsletter

MAAR February newsletter

January 2015 Newsletter



December News Letter 2014 MAAR

November News Letter 2014 MAAR

Low cost dental clinics Sliding scale and free clinics

             Recovery rally 2014 pictures             

October News Letter 2014




The Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery is seeking input from those in addiction recovery so we can address the need for enhancing recovery supports in our state. Please take a moment of your time to fill out this survey. Thank you.











This new space is our "Mini Recovery Center" and will allow us to incorporate a larger variety of peer recovery services such as: Telephone Recovery Support, Recovery Coach meeting room, Peer support groups, a computer for those to use for job seeking, printing resumes, etc. 

Please take a moment to drop by and check it out!




The 2013 "Recovery Wellness Rally" was a hit! We had over 150 people attend this event. Please follow the link for pictures of this celebration.








anonymous people

THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE is a feature documentary film about the over 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Deeply entrenched social stigma have kept recovery voices silent and faces hidden for decades. The vacuum has been filled with sensational mass media depictions of people with addiction that perpetuate a lurid fascination with the dysfunctional side of what is a preventable and treatable health condition. Just like women with breast cancer, or people with HIV/AIDS, a grass roots social justice movement is emerging. Courageous addiction recovery advocates have come out of the shadows and are organizing to end discrimination and move toward recovery-based solutions.

The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement aims to transform public opinion, engage communities and elected officials, and finally shift problematic policy toward lasting solutions.








Augusta Maine

WHERE: 295 Water Street, Lower level, Olde Federal Building

WHEN: Wednesdays

TIME: 6:00pm to 7:00pm





FMI: Contact Steve @ 553-2575




Dear Prospective HIV Advisory Committee Member:

The Maine HIV Advisory Committee (HIVAC) is seeking committed individuals. The HIVAC is charged with addressing issues related to HIV in Maine through effective public policy. We’re contacting you because we feel that you are important to this endeavor.

Under the leadership of the HIV Advisory Committee, the state of Maine has lead the nation in the provision of care for people living with HIV, and taken bold and effective steps to prevent the spread of the virus. This has ranged from the establishment of legislation permitting syringe exchange, to the maintenance of the MaineCare Waiver for persons living with HIV, to promoting the “Ask for the Test” campaign. The Committee’s most recent accomplishment was the passage of a prenatal testing law, which encouraged all pregnant women to be tested for HIV in order to prevent even one child from contracting the virus during birth.

In spite of these successes the struggle continues to achieve an AIDS free generation and end AIDS related deaths. The stigma associated with HIV remains prevalent in our community and each year additional people are newly diagnosed. Our efforts continue to meet these challenges. Maine’s HIV Advisory Committee is a statutorily mandated group made up of persons living with HIV/AIDS, those most impacted by HIV, professionals that focus on HIV care and prevention and representatives of state agencies and the Maine legislature.

The role of the HIV Advisory Committee is unique in the state of Maine.. While several other state committees provide input into how specific programs related to HIV are implemented, they do not carry the legislative mandate that the HIV Advisory Committee comes equipped with. The HIVAC’s duties include assessing emerging HIV-related issues and trends, advising state and federal government agencies on policies that relate to HIV/AIDS, and initiating and responding to legislation... Members are elected to serve a 3 year term during which they are expected to attend monthly meetings and commit approximately 3-5 additional hours of related work each month.

If you are interested in joining the HIV Advisory Committee, please complete the attached application and submit a letter of reference. If we do not have a position available for you in the category you are best suited to fill, we would still encourage your involvement and participation. The HIV Advisory Committee values and depends on input from a wide spectrum of viewpoints. You can be just as effective in guiding HIVAC by simply being an active participant.




We appreciate your commitment and passion to serving in the field of HIV/AIDS, and hope you will serve alongside us.




Maine HIV Advisory Committee


HIVAC Application revision 2