About the OPTIONS Initiative

The Overdose Prevention Through Intensive Outreach Naloxone and Safety (OPTIONS) initiative is a coordinated effort of the Maine Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) and other state agencies to improve the health of Mainers with substance use disorder. OPTIONS supports treatment, harm reduction and recovery, and aims to reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal drug related overdoses.

OPTIONS Liaisons

OPTIONS Liaisons are behavioral health clinicians working in all 16 counties in Maine, employed by behavioral health organizations contracted through the State of Maine, Office of Behavioral Health. In 2023, Governor Mills has increased funding to expand the Liaison program, with additional Liaisons being hired in counties with a higher need.

Liaisons provide brief therapeutic interventions, conduct proactive outreach with communities at the highest risk of experiencing an overdose, de-escalate behavioral health crises, and engage in post- overdose follow up visits and referrals of persons in need, as well as affected others, to community- and state-based services. They collaborate and coordinate with those on the frontlines responding to people experiencing an overdose or at risk of overdose, including first responders like law enforcement and EMS. Learn more and contact your local OPTIONS Liaison.

OPTIONS Public Health Campaign

Through interviews with over 53 state and community leaders, the OPTIONS public health campaign strives to reflect and amplify the voices of Mainers affected by the opioid epidemic. In doing so, the campaign aims to:

  1. Improve the understanding of the Good Samaritan Law and increase calls to 9-1-1 for medical assistance in the event of an overdose emergency.
  2. Invigorate the Have It On Hand campaign to increase the distribution and availability of life saving Naloxone across the state.
  3. Educate those at-risk on safer drug use practices that reduce the risk of both fatal and non-fatal overdose.
  4. Connect people affected by the opioid epidemic with local prevention, harm reduction, recovery, treatment, and general support resources.

For more information on the campaign, contact katherine.coutu@maine.gov.

Maine Opioid Response 2023-2025 Strategic Action Plan

The Strategic Action Plan (SAP) is designed to confront the epidemic of substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD) with evidence-based strategies that are targeted and tailored for maximum impact in Maine. Gordon Smith, the Director of Opioid Response, oversees the plan and works collaboratively with state and local partners to ensure its implementation. Read and download the Strategic Action Plan.