With the rise in drug overdose deaths in Maine gaining national attention (in the Washington Post), we hosted a forum on the issue. Our panelists included Portland’s Chief of Police Michael Sauschuck, Oliver Bradeen, Portland Police Department Substance Abuse Disorder Liason, and Rev. Alice Hildebrand, Chaplain for the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and Family Birth Center.
Every day, an average of more than 80 Americans die from overdoses of opioid drugs which include heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. The number of Maine residents seeking treatment for opiate abuse has tripled since 2010, and the number of babies born affected by prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol has increased by 68 percent.
The public forum drew 45 attendees to the Falmouth Library February 23, 2016. Light refreshments were served as the experts discussed how to deal with the epidemic of drug abuse in our community. We encouraged members of the audience to write their legislators and our governor advocating more funding for education and rehabilitation to address the problem.