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Maine recovery organization will temporarily close its detoxification program due to staffing shortage

Milestone Recovery has been seeing significant staffing shortages, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring
Credit: NCM

PORTLAND, Maine — Milestone Recovery, a Portland-based nonprofit organization that serves Mainers experiencing substance use and homelessness, announced in a release Thursday that its detoxification program will temporarily close beginning Saturday, March 20.

The program, which executive director Oliver Bradeen says serves more than 1,500 Mainers a year, provides medical care to treat the symptoms of withdrawal from addictive substances.

Bradeen says the organization has been seeing significant staffing shortages, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, and is undertaking a short-term suspension of service in order to ensure appropriate levels of staff.

According to Bradeen, Milestone’s detoxification program is southern Maine’s only independent, nonprofit detox program.

RELATED: Peer addiction support: People in long-term recovery available as resources to those struggling

“We know how much the community counts on this program,” Bradeen said. “For a lot of financially disadvantaged Mainers, Milestone is the only place they can get the medical care they need to safely begin their recovery from substance use disorders. That’s why we were so reluctant to take this step. Nevertheless, our clients deserve the highest quality of care, and if we’re unable to provide that, it’s critical that we take some time to recruit and train new staff to give our clients the best chance of success.”

“While we’re disappointed to have to take this step, we’re optimistic for what it signals for our program going forward,” Milestone’s medical director, Dr. Mary Dowd, added. “By taking a few weeks to step back and focus on recruiting and training staff, we hope to fully staff the Detox and work our way back to full capacity in this important program.”

RELATED: $6.1 million awarded to two mental health organizations in Maine

Milestone’s emergency homeless shelter, residential treatment program, women’s recovery house, and HOME Team outreach program, will remain open during the detox closure, which will last until new staff are hired and trained, according to Bradeen. Bradeen also says Milestone staff will be available during the closure to make referrals to other resources.

RELATED: Bangor recovery center hosts annual creative writing contest to raise awareness

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance addiction, here are some resources to get help:

211 Maine

Maine Department of Health and Human Services

Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services