The Portland Daily Sun
January 25 2012
The first of its kind in Maine, the Portland Recovery Community Center is "very much a flagship" in the effort to reduce drug and alcohol relapses and help people stay "clean and sober" longer, according to one of the center's organizers.
On Monday, the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery held a grand opening at the new Portland Recovery Community Center, located at 468 Forest Ave.
Deb Dettor, coordinator for the alliance, said the center is breaking new ground.
"This is the first program that's ever been funded to do this kind of program," she said. The alliance, a membership organization for people in recovery which started in 2000, secured funding for the new Center in 2011. While there are 24 recovery centers throughout New England, "this is the first of its kind in Maine," Dettor said.
"It is volunteer driven, we'll have a skeleton staff that will be training volunteers. Most of our volunteers are people in recovery who are looking to give back," she said.
The center will offer peer support to individuals who use a variety of recovery programs: those include 12 Step, faith-based, medication assisted, and co-occurring mental health programs, according to a center press release. Every activity is designed to help people with their daily recovery efforts, the press release noted.
Peter Preble, program manager for the center, said "Our money came through a program called Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs," he explained.
The center itself is a nonprofit, and one of its goals is to expand beyond some of the traditional recovery models.
"The fact is that many people recover not using 12-step programs, but they don't have a community," Preble said. "We will have 12-step meetings here, we'll also have meetings that are not 12-step related."
"Recovery allies," family members or friends of people in recovery, also are welcome. The center focuses on alcohol and drug addictions, but other types of addictions also will be addressed.
"We're not offering treatment or therapy, that's not what we're about," Preble emphasized.
Rather, the goal is "peer to peer support," he said.
The center is housed in a nondescript, 2,900-square-foot building, formerly a light bulb wholesale office, located on Forest Avenue near the corner of Dartmouth Street.
Dettor and the Recovery Center team said they hope to demonstrate the need to have more of these centers.
"We're really hoping that the community will support this," she said.
"We don't have enough services in our state, and right now with budget cuts, we're going to have even fewer services," Dettor said.
Opiates in particular are "a huge problem in Maine," Dettor said, adding that a needs assessments drafted during grant writing confirmed the growing problem of substance abuse and addiction in the state.
"There's a real big network of people who are working on their recovery in the Portland area," Dettor said. "Anybody who you talk to knows at least somebody who has a problem with alcohol and drugs," Dettor noted. "The problem is getting significantly worse," she concluded.
The Portland Recovery Community Center, 468 Forest Ave., hosts recovery support meetings Mondays and Fridays from noon to 1 p.m and other support programs and services throughout the daily schedule. For more information, call Peter Preble, Manager, at 441-1461.