On April 12, Sen. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, introduced LD 488, “Resolve, To Expand Recovery Community Organizations throughout Maine,” to ensure each of Maine’s 16 counties has at least one recovery community center.

The bill was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee.

“Last year, we tragically lost 502 Mainers to overdoses,” said Maxmin. “This bill seeks to honor them and all who have struggled with substance use in our state. We often hear that the opposite of addiction is connection, and recovery community centers provide the space people need to find that connection and get better.

"The substance use crisis in our state has claimed far too many lives. It’s time we make in investment in recovery communities across our state so that all Mainers, regardless of where they live, can find connection and the resources to get help.”

Recovery community centers are run by recovery community organizations, which are independent, non-profit organizations led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. Recovery community centers serve as the home for the recovery community. These centers support multiple pathways to recovery by providing members with support services including recovery coaches, peer support groups and education and employment resources.

The centers also provide public education around substance use and recovery in Maine and advocate for policies to help more Mainers achieve sustainable recovery.

By the end of 2021, Maine will have 13 recovery community centers located in nine of the state’s 16 counties. Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo and York counties do not currently have a recovery community center within their borders.

LD 488 would provide funding for recovery community centers to open in these remaining seven counties. Several recovery centers and advocacy organizations spoke in favor of the bill, as did the Maine Prosecutors Association.

LD 488 faces further action in committee.