FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2011
Augusta Maine—The Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs (MASAP) receives national recognition from the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) for increasing access to science based treatment protocols for addiction. Mid Coast Hospital’s Addiction Resource Center, Aroostook Mental Health Services, and Maine General Medical Center in partnership with the Office of Substance Abuse took part in a clinical grant funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NIATx from 2006-2008. The purpose was to use business engineering practices to speed up the process of adopting science-based practices into the field.
Eric Haram, MASAP President and Director of the Addiction Resource Center in Brunswick, Maine, was asked to help replicate Maine’s outcomes with other participating states and co-authored the newly published toolkit incorporating the best pratices of this national grant with 32 states participating. The clinical manual for organizations/professionals wanting to implement this science based medical practice in their addiction treatment setting is available at http://www.niatx.net/Content/ContentPage.aspx?PNID=2&NID=256 University of Wisconsin, Madison. School of Engineering, Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies. 2011
Haram stated that "Only one in four people who want addiction treatment in Maine are able to access it. Implementing this treatment protocol in our programs allowed us to provide a relevant, cost effective service that those in needs wanted and said worked for them. Before using this treatment protocol we were only able to retain 20% of opioid addicted patients in treatment. Afterwards we were able to improve that 20% to 85%. Sustaining an active opiate addiction is very expensive. A person addicted and in withdrawal who is not in treatment is going to be working overtime to secure money to avoid the painful and degrading withdrawal that is always looming. This often requires illegal activities.” “By improving access and retention in treatment there are fewer individuals breaking their values and the law to get money to avoid opiate withdrawal.”
Further, Haram states “Through this process we doubled the number of clients treated per year, without any new state or federal dollars. In addition to this, the increased volumes brought the actual cost of treatment down 30%. The proposed $6 million dollars to be cut from Maine’s Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention system will take Maine backwards. 1500 citizens addicted to opiates will not get treatment next year, resulting Public Safety problems. One third of Maine’s addiction treatment services will close, the federal block grant that pays for care for those without financial means will be decreased proportionally $1.4 million, Maine’s public safety tool the Prescription Monitoring Program will loose it’s funding source, and the still growing number of young people addicted to opiates will find themselves with only ambulance rides, emergency department visits and county jails.”
Consider the business case and ripple effects one year out. It costs about $300 for a night at a community based detox facility for a person with alcoholism or opiate addiction. An ambulance ride is $800, a day in the ER is $1200, a day in county jail is close to $150 per day or $2150.00 for the one day package. Spending 7x’s the money to restrict access to addiction treatment makes very little business sense.
For more facts on [the subject and budget impact], please call Eric Haram, President, Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs at (207) 373-6950.