Recovery Off the Mainland’s a Little Different


November 2019
Recovery off the mainland’s a little different
By Courtney Naliboff

While life on one of Maine’s 15 unbridged islands can seem idyllic, the reality in geographic isolation, with a finite number of fellow islanders, can lead some residents to seek out drinking or drug use as a “common denominator.”

[S]everal organizations exist to connect islanders to recovery services.

Maine Seacoast Mission…which has offered medical, educational and spiritual support to island communities since 1905 – including access to counselors who work with addiction issues – is one such organization.

With telemedicine equipment, including a specialized examination camera and other diagnostic devices, the Mission allows people to see primary-care doctors and counselors.

“I do work with Acadia Family Center, which is in Southwest Harbor, and MDI (Mount Desert Island) Behavioral Health, and both of those work with addiction issues,” says Sharon Daley, a registered nurse and the mission’s director of island health. Daley is available for family members and patients to talk to, has assisted physicians with drug-testing patients taking suboxone – a medication prescribed for people in recovery from opioid use – and has hosted counseling sessions aboard the Sunbeam V, the mission’s 75- foot vessel, currently in dry dock for repairs.

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Learn more about the Mission’s Island Health services

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