Next Maine governor to face opioid crisis

May 29th, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

AUGUSTA — Maine’s next governor will inherit a host of challenges — including a graying population, struggling paper mills and underfunded schools — that have vexed Blaine House occupants for decades.

None of those predecessors has entered office at a time when opioid addiction is claiming so many lives in Maine, however.

Maine has failed to reverse or significantly slow the opioid addiction crisis that killed a record number of people last year. While part of that failure is attributable to the immense difficulty and cost of addressing what has become a nationwide epidemic, political dysfunction in Augusta as well as differing opinions on strategies have contributed to the problem.

The 11 Democrats and Republicans hoping to be Maine’s next governor all agree on the need for expanded treatment but differ on how to pay for it as well as the level of state involvement and the role of law enforcement.

Here’s where they stand:


All seven Democrats – Adam Cote, Donna Dion, Mark Dion, Mark Eves, Janet Mills, Diane Russell and Betsy Sweet – insist that expanding Medicaid is a critical component of addressing the heroin and prescription opiate crisis.

Eves, a licensed counselor and family therapist from North Berwick, said the state needs to rebuild a public health system that he said has been “decimated” by the LePage administration. Rebuilding Fund for Healthy Maine programs funded through legal settlements with tobacco companies can assist prevention programs.

“My first look would be toward any federal money that is

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