Bill would help homeless opioid users with housing, care
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — At most 50 homeless opioid users could get access to treatment and housing under a Democrat’s bill.
Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine’s bill would create a pilot project aiming to provide vulnerable opioid users with access to treatment for substance use disorders and stabling housing.
His bill is set for a work session Friday. Lawmakers have tabled the bill previously.
Gattine’s bill calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to start the project by September.
Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce testified that average stays at jail are not long enough to effectively treat a substance abuse issue. He said homeless individuals represented about 10 percent of drug-related arrests last year.
He testified in 2016, about 33 former Cumberland County Jail inmates fatally overdosed within a year of being released.