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Crisis & Counseling Centers is on a shared mission with partners throughout Maine to save lives and strengthen communities, and we’re putting all the options on the table. Because if we want to give people a fighting chance, we need to keep them alive, safe, and supported throughout their journey of active use and recovery.
You Are Not Alone
What does the OPTIONS program do?
The purpose of the OPTIONS (Overdose Prevention Through Intensive Outreach, Naloxone and Safety) initiative is to better support people in Maine who suffer from substance use disorder and to provide them with every available resource to avoid a potentially fatal overdose.
Under the umbrella of this initiative, every Maine county will have a mobile response team that engages with communities to:
- Promote drug use prevention.
- Promote harm reduction strategies to reduce the risk of both fatal and non-fatal overdose.
- Connect people directly to recovery services and treatment.
- Distribute Naloxone.
- Increase awareness of Maine’s “Good Samaritan Law,” which protects someone experiencing an overdose, or who reports a suspected overdose in good faith, from prosecution for certain drug-related offenses.
- Destigmatize substance use disorder so that those suffering from it are less apprehensive about seeking support.
What is an OPTIONS Liaison?
OPTIONS Liaisons, are licensed behavioral health clinicians that are embedded within local emergency medical services (EMS) and law enforcement agencies in every county across Maine. Co-responders will work alongside their first responder counterparts to:
- Engage in post-overdose follow up and help with referrals for services and supports such as insurance, housing, treatment and harm reduction.
- Conduct proactive outreach with individuals, families and others affected in the communities.
- Distribute Naloxone and education on how to administer this life saving medication.
- Provide short-term counseling interventions when appropriate.
- Offer anti-stigma education with community providers.
Each OPTIONS Liaison serves the entire county in which they are located. As the program grows and continues to respond to the needs of each community on a case-by-case basis, services may be amplified to include Syringe Service Programs (SSPs), Tier 1 and Tier 2 Naloxone distribution, Recovery Centers, medication assisted treatment providers, and food and housing supports among others.
Which communities will Crisis & Counseling Centers be providing OPTIONS Liaison support to?
Who are the OPTIONS Liaisons for Crisis & Counseling Centers?
Where can I learn more about the resources available through the OPTIONS program?
The KnowYourOptions.ME website has a growing list of resources available to anyone needing support or services
Get to know our OPTIONS Team
Jasmine Daniels, MHRT-CSP
Kennebec County OPTIONS Liaison
Heather Washburn, LCSW, CADC, CCS
Director of Community Case Management Services
Elisa Sousa, LSW, CADC
Manager of Community Case Management Program