Rapid access treatment for opioid use disorder

In partnership with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Northern Light Mercy Hospital’s emergency department has introduced rapid access treatment to provide patients immediate relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms while also initiating ongoing support that increases the patient’s chances for recovery.

Patients who meet the clinical criteria for opioid use disorder can begin Suboxone treatment in Mercy’s emergency department to counteract the immediate effects of withdrawal. Patients are then given a comprehensive assessment as the start of their ongoing treatment.
Once a patient leaves the emergency department, they are referred to a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who can prescribe Suboxone and other psychiatric medications to manage underlying mental health conditions. Patients are also referred to a social worker and a primary care provider.
Additionally, a recovery coach helps patients continue to access treatment and a range of community supports. These may include:
  • Sober housing
  • Recovery-oriented support groups
  • Ongoing coaching
  • Workforce development, with assistance from the Maine Recovery Fund and its sister employment company, MaineWorks