2017-05-03 / State/Regional

Bill addresses opioid crisis in rural Maine

ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUGUSTA (AP) — A Republican's bill tackles the opioid crisis in a rural Maine county with the state's highest rate of drug overdose deaths.

Republican Sen. Joyce Maker's bill would provide $1.6 million to create a pilot project for treatment and recovery services in Washington County.

Her bill is set for a work session Wednesday and could receive a key committee vote.

The county has the highest average rate of drug overdose deaths in Maine with 19.7 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents. Its rate of drug-affected babies is nearly double the statewide average.

Maine's only detox beds are in Portland, which can be a four hour trip from Washington County.

The county has no residential treatment facilities.

The Department of Health and Human Services said the bill lacks the detail needed to succeed.

Return to top