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Maine Lawmakers' Opioid Task Force Working to Set Agenda in January

With one person dying of an overdose every day in the state, the Maine Legislature’s Opioid Task Force is sorting through scores of program suggestions as they work to set priorities for the January legislative session. But some task force members say they still don’t know what services are available to help those who need it.

Superior Court Justice Bill Stokes told fellow members of the task force he must sentence people for crimes they have committed without knowing what treatment options are available. And Waldo County Sheriff Jeff Trafton says police are faced with the same knowledge gap. The default option, he says, is the local hospital emergency room. Both say more resources are needed and they need to be clearly identified for judges and for law enforcement.

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.