Lawmakers look at public health approach to opioid crisis
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine lawmakers are looking at treating the opioid crisis with a public health approach.
The Bangor Daily News reports that a legislative panel has given preliminary endorsement to a plan to expand treatment and medication options in Maine’s eight public health districts.
The plan aims to expand the availability of health care providers who prescribe medications such as naloxone. Republican Rep. Karen Vachon says creating “hubs” will help people know where to go to get help.
Her plan would provide free treatment for low-income Mainers who lack coverage through private insurance or MaineCare.
But Portland addiction medicine specialist Dr. Mark Publicker says the model is too cumbersome as opiate deaths continue to rise. There were 418 drug-induced deaths in Maine last year, up 11 percent from the previous year’s record.
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com