opioids

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis is due to give its recommendations to the Maine Legislature this week.
 
The panel wrapped up its work last week, and is due to deliver its recommendations for combating the drug crisis by Wednesday. The recommendations, which have not yet been released, will focus on law enforcement, prevention and harm reduction, and treatment and recovery.
 
Law enforcement officials say 185 Mainers died of a drug overdose in the first six months of this year. Last year, the total number of deaths was 376.
 

CARIBOU, Maine - A medical group is offering free trainings for those who prescribe opioid medication.
 
A 2016 state law that addressed the opioid drug abuse crisis set education and training standards for opioid prescribers. The Maine Medical Association is holding a training session in Caribou on Wednesday evening.
 
Maine saw 376 drug overdose deaths last year. Lawmakers and advocates for individuals say that too often, addictive and potentially deadly prescription painkillers wind up in the wrong hands.
 

Patty Wight / Maine Public

It’s been a year since Maine enacted the toughest opioid prescription limits in the country, which came in response to an addiction epidemic where, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription painkiller.

PORTLAND, Maine - Revised rules on the state's new opioid prescription law are due in the next few days - and Maine veterinarians are looking for some changes.

The law sets limits on opioid prescriptions, and it requires vets to check the state's database of prescription records for owners - or whoever brings an animal into the office - before prescribing opioids for a pet.

Patty Wight / Maine Public

In just a few weeks, new limits on opioid prescribing will take effect in Maine.

Prescription pain medication continues to play a role in overdose deaths across the country, and a state law is designed to reduce abuse by curbing doses. But some lawmakers say the new restrictions in Maine will actually cause more harm to some patients, and they plan to introduce legislation to soften the law that was recently passed.

Noreen Alton-Jones of Standish knows the power of opioids.

“They make the pain go away, which is a good thing,” she says.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/biggfish/

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is being used successfully to treat those who are addicted to opiates. How and why does it work better than other methods, and who is administering this treatment in Maine?

Guests:

Dr. Mark Publicker, addiction treatment specialist in private practice and past president of the Northern New England Society of Addiction Medicine

Amanda, a mother recovering from opiate addiction

Dr. Jennifer Smith, DO, North Bridgton Family Practice (part of Bridgton Hospital)

SANFORD, Maine (AP) _ Maine police are warning of a new synthetic opioid that's far more powerful than drugs that are currently being used by addicts.

Following the Obama administration’s pledge to fight the nation’s opioid crisis, 61 US medical schools have announced that they will require their students to take some form of prescriber education.

Among them is the University of new England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. UNE’s Vice-President Dr. Edward Bilsky has been studying opioids for more than 30 years.

The state of Maine could set its own prescribing limits on opioids if lawmakers approve a pair of bills presented to the Health and Human Services Committee today. 

Maine will get more than a million dollars in new federal money to fund treatment of patients addicted to opioids.

Rachel Kaprielian, regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says the money will go to four community health centers — in Portland, Bangor, Waterville and Lincoln — and will pay for eight new positions.

“And one of the weak points reported by the states was front-line service,” she says. “That people be treated where they live and in their community.”