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Coalition Considering Changes To State Laws To Address Maine's Drug Crisis

Patrick Sison
AP Photo
This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York.

The Maine Coalition for Sensible Drug Policy wants lawmakers to consider a number of changes in state law and policy to address the state’s drug crisis that claimed the lives of 418 Mainers last year.

The group calls for reforms to the criminal justice system, including decriminalizing drug possession, improved access to treatment programs and recovery supports as well as improved prevention efforts. Many of the recommendations of the group are found in legislation submitted for the session by individual lawmakers.

Gov. Janet Mills says she will also submit legislation to address the crisis.

Kenney Miller, executive director of the Health Equity Alliance, is part of the coalition.

“These recommendations are comprehensive and interconnected in nature, together building a holistic approach to the issues,” Miller says. “They rely on a model of compassionate care and radical humanism that has been shown to be the most effective way to reduce drug related harm.”