Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Drug Abuse: you're going to pay for it one way or another

One of my biggest issues with the LePage administration was his cutting of drug treatment programs.  Here are a few links to the articles about his misguided policies on this issue.
Fortunately, we now have some good news to report on this. 
The state Department of Health and Human Services has announced it will expand access to medication-assisted addiction treatment by creating 359 new slots with a program scheduled to start next month. 
More >> Maine DHHS to create new slots for addiction treatment
Why is this important for our families?  Because drug abuse is fueling a rise in the numbers of children in the states foster care system.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services says more foster homes are needed as the drug crisis results in hundreds of children entering protective custody 
More >> State: Drug crisis fueling foster care demand
The number of babies born in Maine with illicit drugs or alcohol in their systems has spiked in recent years and is now at 8 percent, or about 1 in 12, of all births, according to state statistics released Friday. 
More >> Number of drug-affected babies spikes to new height
Part of the problem is that many of the Republicans who have come into power in recent years are so opposed to anything that would have to be paid for with welfare dollars that such programs are being axed with little regard for their importance.  The mentality in Augusta is, "Why the heck should the taxpayer have to pay for other peoples poor decisions?"  But as you can see, there is a desperate need in this state to solve the issue.  Without treatment options available for everybody regardless of their ability to pay, there will be children destined to live without their families and many more are going to be born addicted (through no choice of their own) which will all cost one hell of a lot more down the road.

You're gonna pay one way or another.

Also, the rising heroin epidemic in the United States is being fueled by more factors than just personal choice.  Part of it is the over prescribing of opiate based pain killers by doctors.
Good Morning, Madam Chair and members of the Caucus.  Thank you for inviting the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to participate in this important hearing and contribute what I believe will be useful insights into the growing and intertwined problems of prescription pain relievers and heroin abuse in this country. 
More >> America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse
So you figure it out.  This problem is sooner or later going to effect everybody and Maine certainly isn't alone in this nor are we in the worst shape in the country...
Nor do we want to get there.  The only way to avoid it will be to give addicts the help they need and the love and support of their communities.  So step up and make it happen.

Here's a message from Portland's Police Chief Michael Sauschuck...

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we could look at child abuse and find the cause.