Sen. Joyce Maker Sponsors Bill to Address Opioid Crisis in Washington County

 

By Amy Jeanroy

 State Senator Joyce Maker (R-Washington) has sponsored legislation to address the opioid crisis in Washington County through an all-inclusive, treatment-based approach. 

The pilot legislation, LD 812, would include a more holistic approach to the treatment process, addressing some of the hurdles that many face. Measures in the proposed bill include providing medication-assisted treatment to those without insurance, training to non-healthcare persons who are on the front lines, or points of entry to treatment and recovery, and eliminating barriers such as child care and transportation during treatment and recovery. 

This bill is critical in the fight for recovery that many Mainers face. With drug overdose deaths reaching epidemic proportions, Sen. Maker states that Maine averaged one overdose death per day in 2016. 

According to Maker, in 2012-2014, Washington County had the second-highest rate of drug-affected babies, which was nearly double the statewide average. 

“This affliction has had a devastating effect within the region, touching each and every family in one way or another. Yet, from care to recovery, our region lacks the necessary infrastructure to help those in crisis when they seek out treatment for their addiction.

 “We need to face this crisis head-on, which is why I’ve sponsored this important legislation. There is no single approach that will reverse the grips of this disease. We need a holistic approach, which is what LD 812 has to offer,” said Sen. Maker. 

 

 LD 812 has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services for consideration.