SANFORD — Grace Street Services is targeting a mid-May opening to begin providing an array of services aimed at treating heroin and opiate addicts.

The Lewiston-based company plans to offer suboxone, methadone and counseling services at 69 Eagle Drive, the site of the former Spectrum Health Systems methadone clinic at Sanford Industrial Estates in south Sanford.

York County’s sole methadone clinic, Spectrum Health Services closed last fall, citing a lack of state financial support as a factor.

Grace Street Services owners Tim Cheney and Marty O’Brien said Tuesday that they have state permits in place for suboxone treatment and associated mental health counseling for the Sanford facility, and are working on obtaining state permits to dispense methadone.

The clinic must also pass scrutiny by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and be licensed by the Sanford City Council.

City Clerk Sue Cote said Tuesday that she is waiting on some documents from Grace Street Services before the matter can be placed on the City Council agenda. O’Brien said he plans to submit the city application within the next week or two.

Grace Street Services offers an array of addiction services in Lewiston and Portland, including suboxone, vivitrol and naltrexone therapy, intensive outpatient services, mental health services and a plethora of counseling groups.

Cheney describes himself as a recovered addict of 35 years. Addicted to heroin at an early age, he said he was on methadone maintenance for 13 years, and has been in abstinence-based recovery since.

His career includes stints as director of research for the City of Boston Drug Treatment Program and program director at the Community Correctional Center in New Haven, Connecticut. He earned a Lifetime Achievement Award from the President’s Call to Service, among other achievements.

Dr. Merideth Norris, an addiction medicine specialist, will be medical director of the Sanford clinic.

“Medication-assisted treatment is the gold standard” of opiate treatment, said Cheney. “If we attack this problem from the demand side rather than the supply side, we’ll see less fatalities and more treatment, and the whole scope of the epidemic will change.”

Cheney and O’Brien said a bill sponsored by Sen. David Woodsome, R-Waterboro, to raise the methadone reimbursement rate from $60 to $72 a week will help Grace Street Services provide care.

Cheney said he’s also contacted with an insurance company familiar with the Affordable Care Act to help patients get enrolled, and that he’s set up a foundation that also helps provide treatment.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: