MAINE, United States – The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in Maine announced Tuesday that the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health will be renamed the Behavioral Health Office.
According to DHHS, the name change reflects an evolving understanding of the underlying causes of substance use disorders (SUD) and recognizes that people who are confronted with SUD often need and benefit from psychosocial services.
The department believes that the term “behavioral health” encompasses this and encompasses a continuum of services that range from prevention, early intervention, treatment and crisis management to recovery. It is also moving away from what DHHS calls the more stigmatizing term "drug abuse" that DHHS said it does not adequately convey SUD as a disease.
"This new name captures our approach to substance use and mental disorders," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew. "These are medical conditions that are often interrelated and require an integrated system of services to support the health of people in Maine facing these challenges. "
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Die Name change will be introduced informally this week through updates to the DHHS website, signage for buildings, and other materials, and will work with lawmakers, the Secretary of State, and others to update contracts, laws, and regulations with the expected effective date of January 1. Formally update as required in July 2020.
The Office for Healthy Behavior You will continue to work as an office within the DHHS without changing the existing organizational structure.
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"This is more than just a name change," said Gordon Smith, Maine Opioid's director of reaction. “It is an important statement that attacks the stigma and prejudices that have had a negative impact on people with substance use disorders by classifying this chronic disease as separate from other chronic diseases. I heartily support this change. "
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