Maine's push to combat drug epidemic get mixed reviews

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine lawmakers this year are hoping new laws expanding access to opioid overdose antidote naloxone will stem drug overdose deaths.

But advocacy groups say Maine hasn't done enough prevention and treatment in the midst of a crisis.

Drug overdose deaths rose to 376 last year, from 208 in 2014.

The Legislature this year passed bills allowing corrections officers to administer naloxone and fixing a law to allow pharmacists to dispense naloxone to drug addicts and loved ones.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been a critic of the repetitive use of naloxone, but has announced steps to increase access to treatment for hundreds of uninsured individuals. The governor says Democrats fight his anti-drug efforts and said state spending on substance abuse treatment will reach $80 million this year.

© 2017 Associated Press


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