Senate Republican Office
Bill to Address Opioid Crisis in Washington County to Receive Public Comment Tomorrow
Who: Committee on Health and Human Services
What: Public Hearing on LD 812, Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Project To Save Lives and Support People with Substance Use Disorder in Washington County
Where: Cross Office Building, Room 209
When: Tuesday, April 11 at 02:00PM
On Tuesday, April 11, the Committee on Health and Human Services is scheduled to hold a public hearing on Senator Joyce Maker’s (R-Washington) bill to establish a pilot project to address the exploding opioid crisis in Washington County.
LD 812, Resolve, To Establish a Pilot Project To Save Lives and Support People with Substance Use Disorder in Washington County, would:
- Train non-health care entities that are on the front lines, serving as points of entry to treatment and recovery
- Provide training, comfort packs and referral systems to emergency departments
- Add eight additional detox beds
- Work with Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) prescribers to pair them with counselors
- Provide MAT to people without insurance
- Add the option for partial hospitalization for those without insurance
- Add low or no-cost prescriptions for those without insurance
- Eliminate barriers such as child care and transportation during treatment and recovery
- Provide treatment and recovery support in county/local jails
These are only a few measures included in LD 812.
“As we all know, the opioid crisis has reached the level of an epidemic in Maine,” said Sen. Maker. “Washington County has been hit particularly hard by this crisis. According to the Center for Disease Control, between 2012-2014, Washington County had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the state with a rate significantly higher than the statewide average. We also had the second-highest rate of drug affected babies, which was nearly double the statewide average.
“As you can imagine, this affliction has had a devastating effect on our communities, yet the treatment options available in our region are far from adequate. Our region lacks the necessary infrastructure to help those in crisis when they seek out treatment for their addiction.
“If we do not address this epidemic that is ruining families, I fear that Washington County will continue to struggle for the foreseeable future. This is simply a crisis that I cannot ignore. That’s why I’ve submitted this bill to take a comprehensive approach that would ensure residents seeking treatment for opiate addiction in Washington County can access the medicine, care, and recovery supports they need to be successful.”