LincolnHealth Emergency Department a First Stop for Addiction Recovery

November 29, 2018

LincolnHealth Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cindy Wade, Tufts University School of Medicine - Maine Medical Center Maine Track student Sydney Ford, and LincolnHealth Emergency Department Medical Director Tim Fox, MD. If you or someone you know needs help overcoming opioid addiction, the LincolnHealth Emergency Department in Damariscotta may be the best place to start.

“We can now begin treating patients with Suboxone if they want to start recovery and it is medically safe to do so,” explained LincolnHealth Emergency Department Medical Director Tim Fox, MD. "Suboxone helps stop opioid withdrawal symptoms, and when combined with appropriate counseling, improves the patient’s chance of engaging in successful treatment." Patients do not need to be in clinical withdrawal in order to begin treatment.

The goal is for patients to leave the emergency department with an appointment at the Mid Coast Addiction Resource Center in Damariscotta or Brunswick within 48 to 72 hours. This helps ensure the treatment process begins quickly with a pathway to ongoing comprehensive treatment for the addiction.

“Mid Coast Hospital was the first hospital in Maine to prescribe Suboxone in an emergency room, and they have had great success in helping people begin recovery,” Fox commented. “We have been working closely with the Mid Coast physicians and the Addiction Resource Center team to implement a similar model here at LincolnHealth.”

The model is based on the idea that there are few, if any, opportunities for physicians to offer help directly to people with substance use disorder.

“This new way to begin addiction recovery is part of our ongoing efforts to help community members with substance use disorder,” commented LincolnHealth Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Cindy Wade. “We are proud to be the second hospital in Maine to prescribe Suboxone in the Emergency Department.”

The LincolnHealth Emergency Department is also working toward a universal screening of all emergency department patients for substance use disorder. By doing so, clinicians will be able to offer treatment to more people who might be interested, and help reduce the stigma of substance use disorder.

LincolnHealth also has a comprehensive outpatient recovery program that uses Integrated Medication Assisted Treatment. Providers are currently accepting new patients in Damariscotta, Boothbay Harbor, and Waldoboro. For more information about this outpatient program, please call Lincoln Medical Partners Primary Care Damariscotta at 207-563-4250.

The LincolnHealth Emergency Department wants to remind everyone that in an emergency, always call 9-1-1.