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 using substances through harm reduction strategies, helping them on the road to recovery, and dramatically reducing the number of fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses.
The OPTIONS co-responder initiative embeds licensed behavioral health clinicians within local emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement agencies in every county across Maine. Liaisons work alongside their first responder counterparts to:
- Provide short-term counseling interventions when appropriate.
- Conduct proactive outreach with at-risk communities.
- De-escalate behavioral health crises when possible.
- Engage in post-overdose follow up and help with referrals.
Each OPTIONS liaison serves the entire county in which they are located. As part of the OPTIONS liaison initiative, OBH and the Maine CDC are working to better integrate the varying levels of support services in each county. These services may include Syringe Service Programs (SSPs), Tier 1 and Tier 2 naloxone distributors, Recovery Centers, MAT treatment providers, food and housing supports among others. For more information on the OPTIONS liaison program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPTIONS Liaisons, by County*
Androscoggin County: Dave Bilodeau – email@example.com
Cumberland County: Tom MacElhaney – firstname.lastname@example.org
Franklin County: Rebekah Mitchell – email@example.com
Knox County: William Bucklin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln County: Sherri Talbot – email@example.com
Penobscot County: Adam Perkins – firstname.lastname@example.org
Piscataquis County: Ashley Roberts, CADC – email@example.com
Sagadhoc County: Maria Beauregard, CADC – firstname.lastname@example.org
Waldo County: Caitlyn Dowd, LMSW-cc – email@example.com
York County: Alyssa Pelchat – firstname.lastname@example.org
*The OPTIONS liaison program is new. This list will be updated as liaisons come on board for each Maine county.
In the case of an immediate medical emergency such as an overdose, call 911.
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:
- 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.
- Invigorate the Have It On Hand campaign to increase the distribution and availability of life saving Naloxone across the state.
- Educate those at-risk on safer drug use practices that reduce the risk of both fatal and non-fatal overdose.
- 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 email@example.com.