Please go to the Bangor Daily News to read the full editorial.
Research has long shown that medication-assisted treatment can be the most effective means to deal with substance abuse disorder. Despite this, longstanding policies prohibited the use of this treatment in many of Maine’s correctional facilities, where a significant percentage of inmates are coping with addiction. This has made recovery more difficult, and even dangerous, for thousands of Maine people. It also violates inmates’ rights, courts have decided.
These policies are changing, thankfully, bolstering the message that treatment is a long-term endeavor that requires support — from peers, family, community and others.
As part of a February executive order on actions to be taken by the state to combat Maine’s opioid epidemic, Gov. Janet Mills called for increased use of medication-assisted treatment in Maine, including in the state’s criminal justice system.