The Heroin Effect title still

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., October 4 at 10:00 pm
Sat., October 6 at 11:00 am

An honest yet surprisingly hopeful look at what addiction really looks like; who is working on the grassroots level to fight it and how we can help with recovery efforts in our own communities.


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?


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)

President Barack Obama wants a billion-dollar boost in spending to combat the country’s opiate crisis — an increase that could benefit treatment and enforcement in Maine.

MONTPELIER, Vt. - The six New England governors are urging leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives to expand the types of medical practitioners who can prescribe drugs to treat opiate addiction.

In a Tuesday letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and minority leader Nancy Pelosi, the governors ask the House leaders to support the proposed Recovery Enhancement for Addiction Treatment Act.

The act would allow some nurse practitioners and physician assistants to treat up to 100 patients per year with buprenorphine.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Less than two months after U.S. Sen. Angus King and Gov. Paul LePage held separate drug summits on Maine's opiate problem, a broad, new multidimensional approach is underway to address the public health crisis.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — The Scarborough Police Department announced this week that it's taking action to get people addicted to opiates into treatment.

The department is following the lead of the Angel Program in Gloucester, Massachusetts, that has gained national attention since it started in June.

The idea is to encourage those struggling with addiction to actively seek help from police without the fear of being charged with a crime.

Other Maine police departments are considering adopting similar programs.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - Like so many states, Maine is in the grip of an opiate epidemic that shows no signs of slowing down. While other states have expanded drug treatment as part of the response, Maine has not.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - While Gov. LePage is calling for more funding to continue the War on Drugs, others say the time has come for an entirely different strategy. In addition to calls for more drug treatment, a bill to reduce penalties for possession of drugs like heroin and Oxycontin is attracting bipartisan support from lawmakers, from the ACLU of Maine and the Maine Council of Churches.

  Addiction, recovery and the role of the state. Maine has one of the nation's highest rates of opiate addiction. The legislature is considering limiting MaineCare funds used to help addicts in recovery.  What does this mean for patients, the state's budget and how best to address the epidemic?

Host Keith Shortall spoke with: