Addressing the growing opioid epidemic in Washington County

Addressing opioid crisis in Washington County

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- According to the Center for Disease Control, Washington County had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the state from 2012 to 2014. On Tuesday, people from Washington county went before the Health and Human services committee to propose a bill that aims to help change that.

The Pilot Project created by Senator Joyce Maker, aims to provide training and referral systems to emergency departments as well as recovery support in county jails.

Medication- Assisted treatment would be offered to people without insurance from little to no cost and the project would also create eight detox beds in the area.

Members of the Health and Human Services were taken back by the proposed budget of $1,600,000 but Senator Maker said the Pilot Project is the best way to tackle all aspects of addiction.

“If we're really going to handle this problem, we need to do this holistically. From A to Z I like to say. They don't look like they should be together but they are…from helping families to providing suboxone if we have to. There's so many things, it's not just one thing,” she said.

The work session for the bill will take place on April 25th. If the bill is eventually passed, Senator Maker hopes these services will be available by 2018.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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