The Bangor Area’s Approach to Addressing Substance Use Disorder

Like many communities in the United States, Bangor, Maine has been struggling with the opioid epidemic. This case study shares how the Bangor community is using two types of MeHAF grant funding to address some of the most critical gaps related to opioid use disorders. The strategies of each grantee target different gaps in the continuum of care in the Bangor area. The report profiles three major activities of the Access to Quality Care (A2QC) grantee, Penobscot Community Health Care, and the Healthy Communities (HC) grantee, Bangor Public Health and Community Services.  These organizations are implementing: pain management/opioid prescribing protocols for providers (A2QC), “warm handoffs” of patients with substance use disorder from the emergency department/urgent care to primary care (A2QC), and recovery coaches (HC). Each profile includes a description of major progress to date, lessons learned, and evaluation. The report then summarizes how the two initiatives are engaging community members in these activities – an important aspect of their work and a core requirement of these MeHAF grant programs.