Nov. 21, 2023 – Dr. Francesca Beaudoin was the first physician in the nation to serve patients in a mobile drug recovery unit. The van, an innovative public health intervention on wheels, delivers services to individuals suffering from substance use disorder. The 27-foot-long RV looks like an everyday camper, painted in shades of teal and displaying the CODAC logo. But inside, there’s a counseling room that can fit in four, a bench for people to wait, a bathroom, a desk, a security system, a refrigerator stocked with snacks and an area for dispensing medications, like methadone.

The idea is pretty simple: provide medication assisted treatment, without the barriers or stigmas that often come with going to a clinic, in a flexible setting within the communities where people need it.

“We know that the proportion of methadone clinics that are in the community do not meet the needs of the patients,” Beaudoin said. “Particularly when those patients don’t have housing or transportation.”

CODAC’s mobile unit, the first of its kind in the United States, is able to flexibly visit the state’s hot spots staffed by physicians like Beaudoin, nurses and peer recovery coaches who connect patients with insurance and help with housing, food, and employment services.