Please go to the Portland Press Herald to read the full editorial.
Expanding medication-assisted treatment is a positive move forward, but thousands of Mainers will still need care before the crisis subsides.
By The PPH Editorial Board
For years now, Maine’s response to a mounting drug crisis has missed one key component. Medication-assisted treatment with Suboxone or methadone is the gold standard for opiate addiction, yet its availability in Maine, particularly to the uninsured, pales in comparison to the need.
But with an average of one Mainer dying each day from a drug overdose, there is now real movement to fill that void.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced this week that it will use $2.4 million in state and federal funding to create 359 new medication-assisted treatment slots for the uninsured spread among five locations, targeted specifically where the agency says it has found wait lists.
Along with a nascent effort by Maine Behavioral Healthcare to offer Suboxone-based treatment and counseling to anyone in its coverage area who needs it, the state’s initiative represents a significant step forward in the fight against the devastating opioid epidemic.