Kari Taylor, director of the Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative, stands Feb. 28 in the Oxford Hills Recovery Center in Norway. The center is holding a grand opening in April. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

NORWAY — The Oxford Hills Recovery Center will hold a grand opening in April, several months after it opened on Tannery Street.

The center, which is the headquarters for the Western Maine Addiction Recovery Initiative, helps people with substance use disorder and supports them in their journey to sobriety.

The initiative was formed in 2015 as the community’s response to Maine’s growing substance use crisis. Kari Taylor was hired as director in 2021, tasked with raising awareness of substance use disorder and forming a regional support network for those in recovery.

“Our hours have been limited to start,” Taylor said. “Our drop-in times are Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. But we have staff here from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for scheduled appointments to provide one-on-one support.”

“From the very beginning when we went to the Planning Board, the town has been so welcoming and supportive,” she said. “Everyone is so engaged, and now with this actual, physical location and we’re providing this service, all of these people have come out with so much support.”

Other partners include the Larry Labonte Recovery Center in Rumford, the River Valley Healthy Community Coalition in Rumford, Healthy Oxford Hills and Common Ground Counseling, both in Norway, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and the Oxford County Jail in Paris.


Besides Taylor, the center employs Aaron Ryder, a full-time intervention and peer support specialist. Like Taylor, he is in recovery.

The center provides clients with services or referrals related to substance use disorder. That includes free cellphones for those who need them and Narcan training, which will be available as part of daily drop-in services.

The center also organizes outreach to educate others about substance use disorder. One is scheduled at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris in early April.

“We’re actively looking for volunteers to be recovery coaches,” Taylor said.

“We’re establishing more connections with other organizations and people,” she said. “We want to respond to every referral and any need in the community.”

“We’re open to people’s ideas,” Taylor said. “We want what we do here to be formed by the recovery community. We don’t want to tell them what they need. We want them to tell us what they need and we will respond to that. The possibilities are endless. It feels like it’s coming alive. I just can’t believe we’re here, to be honest. This was all a dream.”

The Oxford Hills Recovery Center on Tannery Street in Norway will hold a grand opening in April. Nicole Carter/Advertiser Democrat

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