Governor’s Proposed Budget Threatens Future of Residential Treatment Facilities 

Brandon Weymouth has been receiving treatment at the Wellspring Men’s House for a month, but before he got help, his life was spent in and out of jail.”I just existed. I went through the motions of everyday life, I tried my hardest not to get noticed, get through what I had to get through, get what I needed to get and go back to sleep.”Preliminary results of a study conducted by the Bangor Area Recovering Community Coalition and the UMaine School of Social Work reveal an increase in resiliency among individuals in long term recovery.Wellspring’s programs have been helping men and women for more than 40 years. Executive Director Pat Kimball says they currently serve 28 people with fifty people on a waiting list.”One day our office manager received a phone call from a father and the father said you can take my son’s name off the waiting list and the office manager said is everything okay and he said my son is dead. That’s not the way to treat human beings.”Governor LePage’s proposed budget puts Wellspring in danger. His plan would cut 10 of the 13 residential treatment programs throughout the state as well as residential treatment programs for women and adolescents.Proponents of the plan say the cuts will save the state money, but Kimball says it will cost Penobscot County about 100-million dollars annually.”You’re going to see an increase of people in jail, you’re going to see crime rates again continue to rise, you’ll see workforce developments decrease because people can’t maintain jobs while they’re using.”The proposed budget would leave only three detox facilities in Cumberland, Penobscot and Aroostook counties.”It took me a long time to really believe and accept the fact that I need help you know, and if it took me a long time to get it and I’m finally getting it, if it could take that long for the next person and if it’s not here to help them when they finally get it, then what are they going to do?”