During the Covid-19 pandemic, overdose deaths have surged across the United States and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. New England has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, with Maine seeing a 33% increase in overdose deaths. With statistics as devastating as these, a call to action is clear. Maine needs more substance use disorder services that meet people where they are – at the right time.

But that’s not the only reason Better Life Partners launched in Maine.

Steve Kelly, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer explains, “As we provide services in New Hampshire along the border, we were seeing folks coming over from Maine to New Hampshire seeking our help. They want access to treatment that is quick, is flexible, and most importantly provides great outcomes in finding recovery. That’s a huge reason why we’re expanding. We want everyone who is ready for recovery to have access to care.”

A Member-Centered Approach to Recovery

Better Life Partners provides members with recovery services that are more comprehensive, flexible, and easier to access than most traditional treatment centers.

“We offer treatment that works with each individual’s schedule. Depending on where they are in their recovery journey, members may have weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings at various times of the day to increase accessibility. We have virtual options. We also don’t have waiting lists, we want to get someone into care when they are ready. That’s a big difference,” explains Isabel Rodzik, RN, Better Life Partner’s Operations Director in Maine.

Cathy Milliken, LCSW, LADC, CCS, the Clinical Director for Maine, says Better Life Partners offers a collaborative approach to recovery that is available across the state. Not only is treatment led by trained experts, counselors, and clinicians, but it also has a focus on something bigger. “We’re truly mission-driven. We want to see people recover and we also want to create a community where people feel like they belong. It’s our emphasis on love, community, and acceptance that make us different.”

As far as treatment specifics go, Better Life Partner’s Medical Director David de Gijsel, MD explains, “We provide wraparound Substance Use Disorder care with supportive counseling and buprenorphine to people who are underserved by the current medical community. If you feel like you’re struggling with addiction, we can be by your side.”

But what does being by your side actually mean? “We literally meet our members where they are, whether that’s virtually, at community partner sites, or on the street. We believe in their autonomy. This is their treatment and recovery, and we do our best to support them during that,” David answers.

Offering Hope and Healing to Maine

As the opioid epidemic continues, the team at Better Life Partners is poised to make a tangible difference. Boasting a 70% pharmacotherapy continuity retention rate (meaning 70% of members were engaged with Better Life Partners for at least 180 days without missing prescriptions for over 7 days), they have the data to back it up. But, recovery isn’t just about using drugs less or surviving, it’s about thriving.

“We give people healing,” Isabel points out, “we give them the opportunity to not just find recovery, but also to find themselves through that process. It’s a journey. Everyone is on their own unique path. We know this, which is why we don’t put up barriers or focus on consequences. We want to give people back a sense of peace, safety, and belonging.”

“And,” Cathy adds, “we aren’t coming into Maine and putting up offices that members need to show up to. We create community partnerships so we can show up where folks are. Our uniqueness is that we really, literally and philosophically, meet people where they are. We want people to feel empowered and comfortable so that they can heal.”

Find Community with Better Life Partners

Better Life Partners works with local organizations to provide harm reduction and integrated medical, behavioral, and social care. From recovery centers and food banks to treatment providers and corrections departments, there are several ways to build meaningful partnerships with Better Life Partners. To learn more, visit the website.  For individuals seeking care or for friends and family wanting to learn more, email info@betterlifepartners.com or call/text (866) 679-0831 to get started with same-day treatment services.