(July 15, 2019)
Maine is hosting its first-ever Opioid Response Summit in Augusta, reports Public News Service. Governor Janet Mills will lead the daylong event to support the state’s ongoing response to the opioid crisis. She’s joined by Barbara L. Macaneny, the current president of the American Medical Association, Michael Botticelli, former director of the Office, National Drug Control Policy, and Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, as the keynote speaker. Law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, and those impacted by the opioid crisis will also attend. The event’s leaders will discuss opioid response strategies and create community coalitions during its sessions.
Though Maine’s overdose deaths decreased between 2017 and 2018, opioids still cause 80% of fatalities. Because of this, Gov. Mills declared, “While we have made strides in expanding access to treatment and recovery, investing in prevention and education, and supporting law enforcement, we still have much more to do to stem the tide of this deadly epidemic.” The state has already increased access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, as well as helping decrease the amount of prescribed opioids since 2013.
Learn more about the summit here, and join the livestream here before the event ends at 4:30 EST. To learn more about naloxone, look here. To find an opioid treatment center or doctor in Maine, look here or here.