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Subcommittee and Coordinating Committee Process
The Task Force formed four Subcommittees to carry out its work. In addition, it created the Coordinating Committee to facilitate the review of work emerging from the Subcommittees and to identify and develop recommendations not addressed by the Subcommittees.
Continuum of Care Subcommittee
The Continuum of Care Subcommittee met six times during June, July and August. The first two meetings were organizational and placed some focus on defining "continuum of care." The committee then held meetings to hear presentations from representatives of several special population groups, including: adolescents, including alternative school students and at risk youth; elderly persons; gays and lesbians; homeless persons; Native Americans; opiate addicts and methodone users; persons who are deaf and hard of hearing; persons who have a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental illness; persons with mental retardation; and women. The Subcommittee also heard from residential care providers and representatives of Mercy Hospitals Recovery Center.
The Subcommittee asked the presenters to frame their discussion around four questions which were provided to them in advance:
Children and Youth Subcommittee
The Children and Youth Subcommittee met five times during June through August. Meetings were held either at OSA or at the Dirigo Prevention Coalition in Augusta. Initial meetings consisted of organizational tasks and the review of research, articles, and relevant data with regard to youth and substance abuse. Subsequent meetings placed a greater focus on the development of recommendations.
Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee
The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee was formed to examine the issues and costs that substance abuse brings to the State's courts, prisons and community police departments. The subcommittee held five meetings, including two public hearings focusing on enforcement, sentencing, and corrections. The subcommittee heard presentations from invited participants from the District and Superior Courts, county sheriffs and jail administrators, United States Attorney's Office, Department of Corrections, Maine State Police, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. The presenters provided valuable input and suggestions regarding ways to improve the State's response to substance abuse issues in the areas of law enforcement, adjudication and sentencing, and corrections.
Public and Private Partnerships Committee
The Public/Private Subcommittee was formed to examine the private sector response to the problems of alcoholism and abuse of other drugs and how this relates to efforts in the public sector. In its discussions, the Subcommittee focused on formulating recommendations in three primary areas: (1) third-party insurance coverage of substance abuse treatment and managed care's effect on substance abuse treatment; (2) access and funding to substance abuse treatment; and 3) Employee Assistance Programs. The Subcommittee met five times to complete its work.