By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,537)
Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills has joined thirty five (35) other state attorneys general in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urging it to adopt its proposed 2016 guideline for prescribing opiods for chronic pain. The letter dated January 13, 2016 was on the letterhead of the National Association of Attorneys General and addressed to CDC Director Tom Frieden.
Mills accompanying press release said that “In 2014. Maine experienced a record 208 deaths caused by drug overdose and through the first nine months of 2015 thee were 174 deaths from drug overdose. Of the deaths in the first nine months of 2015, 113 (65%) involved at least one pharmaceutical drug and 111 (64%) involved at least one illicit drug. Many of these deaths (29%) were caused by a combination of pharmaceutical and illicit drugs. Pharmaceutical opioids remain a key substance category, with 70 deaths (40%) caused by a least one pharmaceutical opioid.
“The Department of Justice reports that eighty percent of people arrested for heroin offenses say they started using prescription painkillers,: wrote AG Mills in the same press release. “We are awash in these substances. As law enforcement works to interdict the supply of heroin and fentanyl, we need doctors and other prescribers to reduce the supply of prescription opioids.
Meanwhile, Maine legislators in Augusta dicker over just who should finance a drug bill that would add treatment centers to the state. For years, Maine has ranked at the top of the list for abuse of pills,
Meanwhile, Chief Michael Sauschuck has taken proactive steps in the war on drug abuse by hiring Oliver G. Bradeen to by the city’s first substance abuse liaison effective 2/1/16 He will be based at the Portland Police Department on Middle Street. One of his responsibilities will be to divert drug abusers to resources who can help them to recover.