Today we had the honor of meeting with two people who had been placed in different treatment facilities through Operation HOPE. They have recently returned to Maine and are following after care plans. They both looked incredible, with so much health and happiness where there had been illness and despair. We wish them all the best on their path towards life long recovery.
When we launched Operation HOPE October 1st we had no idea if we would have any success, but we were willing to take a chance. As of today we've placed 133 Mainers into treatment across nine states. We are beginning to follow up with those completing their initial treatment and are hearing a lot of success stories so far. They still have a lot of work ahead of them to stay in recovery, and our partners at Portland Recovery Community Center have been amazing at connecting them with needed resources as they return home.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way. It hasn't always been easy, but it's certainly been worth it.
The Scarborough Police Department reports that its innovative Operation HOPE program has encountered serious difficulty obtaining treatment for people suffering from heroin and opiate addiction.
Since October 1st, Operation HOPE (the Heroin – Opiate Prevention Effort) has placed 130 Mainers from Kittery to Fort Fairfield in long-term treatment and rehabilitation programs. The overwhelming demand for services, however, coupled with increased difficulty in accessing treatment resources, has placed the program in jeopardy and caused police to warn future program participants that access to treatment may be very limited.
“We want to keep helping people who suffer from substance use disorder, but we also want to be honest with people”, said Scarborough Police Chief Robbie Moulton. “We want them to understand the reality and severity of the situation. Absent access to treatment programs, it is likely that there will be times when we will have no help to offer”.
According to Moulton, two-thirds of program participants lack the health care coverage or financial resources which would allow them to obtain treatment on their own. As a result, the program has relied heavily on donated or “scholarship” treatment services offered by a nationwide network of partnering treatment facilities. With the high demand for services in Maine, donated treatment has become increasingly hard to find.
Operation HOPE is one component of the Scarborough Police Department’s three-prong strategy to address the drug problem by focusing on enforcement, education and prevention, and treatment.
On Friday, March 4th, TD Bank inspired the community to collect coins at their 4 Hannaford Drive Store. And a bit of snow wasn't an obstacle: tons of people dropped by, all supporting Operation HOPE. Thanks to everyone involved, TD raised a total of $2,082.45 to help us keep working towards an addiction-free community. Thank you, TD and friends! These funds will help offset the travel and treatment facility fees.