Mobile Van Offers Drug Treatment To Maine Residents
For those who can’t access drug treatment, a pair of Maine residents are bringing it to them.
Armed with a mobile van containing clean syringes and naloxone, among other items, Tim Cheney and Adrian Hooper will travel throughout the city of Sanford to bring harm reduction and recovery services to the areas most affected by opioid abuse. Volunteers in the van also offer HIV testing and discuss treatment options with anyone who is interested
Both Cheney and Hooper are in long-term recovery from heroin addiction and said this project is a personal one for them.
“We’re losing over one person a day in Maine,” said Cheney to the AP. “Back in the ‘70s, there was just as much heroin. The issue now is the fentanyl in it.”
Their mobile van was made possible by the Choopers Foundation, a Maine-based non-profit that educates the public on both drug addiction and the need for changes in drug policy. They’ve also created a resource guide for those seeking help from addiction, a syringe exchange center in the town of Lewiston, and an Overdose Warning Network app for first responders to enter data on overdose incidents.
Daniel Raymond, a member of the Harm Reduction Coalition, said these types of program are crucial in order to “intervene early before people end up in the emergency department or morgue.”
Similar projects are also sprouting up across the country. In rural Western Pennsylvania, a van initiative known as the PRS Mobile Clinic has been delivering monthly injections of Vivitrol. The clinic, essentially a trailer attached to a Ford pickup truck, is operated by a private clinic in Washington County known as Private Recovery Solutions.