Click Here for Portland Women's Taskforce on MySpace
July 2008
MPBN Special Series
PWT on MySpace
Lisa Mojer-Torres DVD
Articles, Publications & News
Funding Opportunities
Next Meeting/Guest Speaker
Resource Listing
Yahoo! Groups

Welcome to the Portland Women's Taskforce July 2008 e-newsletter.  You'll notice the color change for this issue and you may have noticed that there's a reason for that: we have a newly created logo just for us and our world-wide-web endeavors!  In addition to taking over the world one social-networking site at a time, we have some exciting new updates to share with you as well as national and local on!

Amanda Edgar & Ronni Katz
City of Portland's Overdose Prevention Project
Members, Portland Women's Taskforce
"Addicts Behind Bars Forced to go into Withdrawal" &
"Medical Policy at Jails Probable Legal Challenge"
A 2-Part Series by Susan Sharon on MPBN

"Each month there are between 35 and 45 opiate addicts housed at the Cumberland County Jail. Of those inmates, fewer than six are in treatment for addiction and on maintenance medication like methadone or buprenorphine. But whether inmates are in treatment or not, once they enter the Cumberland County Jail and many other jails, unless they are pregnant, they will be forced into withdrawal. As Susan Sharon reports, that's raising legal, medical and ethical questions with addiction specialists, advocates and others both in and out of Maine."
Part 1 of the Audio Series

"Previously, we reported on the common practice of forcing opiate addicts in Maine's correctional facilities to go into withdrawal once incarcerated. The policy applies to inmates on legally prescribed maintenance medications such as methadone and buprenorphine. The only exception is for pregnant women, who are allowed to continue their prescriptions until they give birth and then they also undergo rapid detoxification. As Susan Sharon reports in part two of our story, some advocates are prepared to challenge this practice on legal, ethical and medical grounds."

Part 2 of the Audio Series

**As a follow up to this situation at the Cumberland County Jail, the Cumberland County Commissioners held a two-hour workshop on June 23rd to discuss the challenging and often controversial elements of how to go about utilizing medication assisted treatment options within jails.  Sheriff Mark Dion and the Correctional Medical Services staff shared their experiences and Dr. Mark Publicker (Mercy Recovery Center Director) and Zach Heiden (Maine Civil Liberties Union Legal Director) discussed their perspectives.  This workshop offered an informative and positive start toward future dialogue; we look forward to hearing more about how this group plans to shed light on the issue of medication assisted treatment for incarcerated individuals.
Portland Women's Taskforce is Going World Wide...Click Here for the PWT on MySpace
World Wide Web, that is!

The group has decided to create a website dedicated to the efforts of the PWT and as a means to have all of our information in one great place!  We've started a blog and have listed our PWT partner organizations as well as local resources.  Got ideas?  Let us know!
Check us out on MySpace:

Lisa Mojer-Torres, National Recovery Advocate & Civil Rights Attorney: DVD AvailableClick Here for an Interview with Ms. Torres  (FAVOR)
In April 2008, the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery hosted several medication assisted recovery forums with Lisa Mojer-Torres from Portland to Bangor.  Ms. Torres was gracious enough to allow MAAR to videotape her Portland presentation to recovering people, families & friends so that her story can be used to teach about medication use in recovery!  If you would like to view the Portland forum DVD, please contact Deb Dettor (MAAR) at
Women Addicts And Pregnancy
Substance Abuse Treatment With Prenatal Care Early In Pregnancy Cuts Risks To Mother And Baby, Study Shows
pregnant woman"Pregnant women who struggle with drug, alcohol, or tobacco use can achieve healthy outcomes similar to women who do not use such substances if they receive proper prenatal care and substance abuse treatment early in pregnancy.  'Integrating substance abuse treatment with prenatal care is cost-effective and significantly decreases negative birth outcomes as well as [mother's death],' the authors write in the Journal of Perinatology article, published online..." 
Read More from the CBS News/WebMD Article
Kaiser Permanente Study Link

False positives are common in drug tests on new moms
Mayo Clinic
"Hospitals' initial urine- screening drug tests on pregnant women can produce a high rate
of false positives - particularly for methamphetamine and opiates - because they are technically complex and interpretation of the results can be difficult, some experts say. Tests for methamphetamine are wrong an average of 26 percent - and possibly up to 70 percent - of the time, according to studies by the University of Kansas Medical Center, U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry."
Read More from the Los Angeles Daily News
Mayo Clinic Proceedings Article (Abstract)

Females in Jails: It's Not Just About Public Safety

"An interesting look at the health issues of females in jails is presented by this articlefemale inmate from the by authors Kummerow and Joyner. Unintended pregnancies, STDs, drug use, and lice are just part of the spectrum of problems public safety officials contend with in this Nashville area jail. Read more at the brief article (from the American Correctional Association, Corrections Today Publication)." 
The Davidson County (TN) Jail for Females: A Modern-Day Crisis Center
(Thanks to Drew Carberry at the National Crime Prevention Council/National Reentry Network for this article)

New Hampshire Taskfore on Women & Recovery
Women's Leadership Training in Lebanon, NH
"Women's Leadership Training Initiative is a three-day series (August 22, 23 & 24) ofClick Here for NHWTR empowerment workshops for recovering women. Learn skills to help builder a brighter future. WLTI is free!  Workshops are led by two trained NHTWR facilitators - at least one of them has lived experience in recovery!  Participants should try to attend all three sessions. Meals are provided for everyone. Help finding transportation and childcare is available. Please let us know what you need by August 2nd and we will try to coordinate assistance. Registration is limited to 15 women - those recovering from any or all of the following are welcome; alcohol or drug problems, trauma or history of abuse, and mental health issues." 
WLTI Flyer (PDF)
Funding Opportunites
Open Meadows Foundation & Avon's "Hello Tomorrow Fund"
The Open Meadows Foundation
"Open Meadows is a grant-making organization for projects
that are led by and benefit women and girls. Open Meadows Foundation funds projects that do notdiscriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age or ability.
It offers grants up to $2000 to projects that:
Click Here for the Open Meadows Foundation Website * Are designed and implemented by women and girls;
* Reflect the diversity of the community served by the project in both its leadership & organization;
 * Promote building community power;
* Promote racial, social, economic & environmental justice;
* Have limited financial access or have encountered obstacles in their search for funding."  Visit the Open Meadows Foundation Website

The Avon Hello Tomorrow Fund
"At Avon, we believe that empowering women can be the most effective way
Click Here FMI About Avon's Hello Tomorrow Fundto improve society and change our world. For over 120 years we have provided economic opportunity for women worldwide, often in places and at times when employment options were limited. Given the resources, women can impact their lives, their families and their communities in meaningful ways. Women can change our world.   In this spirit, Avon has created the Hello Tomorrow Fund. Every week since April 15, 2007, $5,000 has been awarded to an individual to help realize a program, project or idea to empower women. Take action today to make tomorrow a better day."
Go to the Avon Hello Tomorrow Website.
Next Meeting
Guest Speaker: R
everend Virginia Marie Rincon of Tengo Voz
"Tengo Voz (I Have Voice) is a grassroots, non-profit organization that supports and empowers Spanish-speaking women and their families in southern Maine. Serving in an Episcopal church in Portland, the Rev. Virginia Marie Rincon recognized that the Spanish-speaking women in the church were experiencing a great deal of frustration and anxiety. Because of the language barrier, they were finding it difficult to access services, jobs, housing, and medical attention.
Tengo Voz has been recognized as a partner with other service organizations in developing programs that educate, inspire, and empower the Latino community." (from the Maine Council of Churches' website We look forward to welcoming Reverend Virginia at our August PWT meeting!
Our next meeting will be held on August 6, 2008 from 1:30-3:00 at Maine Medical Center's Dana Center Classroom #4.  Please RSVP and if you have any agenda items to add, please let us know.  Contact Ronni at 756-8116 or

Local treatment & Recovery-Related Resources for Women & Girls
Support Services & Publications Specific to Women & Girls
Portland Women's Taskforce on Yahoo! GroupsYahoo! Groups Logo
The Portland Women's Taskforce is on Yahoo! Groups.  If you would like to be a part of the email group, please go to:
or email Ronni Katz at
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Portland's Overdose Prevention Project and its programs are supported by the Maine Office of Substance Abuse &
the City of Portland Public Health Division, Health & Human Services Department

Visit the City's Substance Abuse Prevention Site     Click Here for OSA's Website