Collaborative approach to fighting Maine's drug epidemic

Statewide forum in Augusta to address opioid crisis.

AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's heroin epidemic took the life of 1 person every day in 2016 -- those trying to put an end to it believe it can only happen by working together.

"Today is about a conversation and about learning" Pat Kimball said. Kimball is a retired drug and alcohol counselor. "Five years ago I couldn't imagine this conference taking place". She stated that is how she knows the state has made progress in fighting the epidemic -- but there is still a ways to go, that is why days like these are so important. "You have all of our community together talking about a unified crisis in our state" Kimball said. 

The conference allowed experts to give their insight on the epidemic as well as how they feel the state can implement change. Maine is also the leader in prescribing opiate based prescriptions -- the conference was also targeted at improving Maine's opioid prescribing practices as well as promoting the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs.

"It's a complex social issue and law-enforcement cannot do it by themselves nor can providers or the medical field or even legislation" Penobscott County Sheriff Troy Morton said. "Those days of just simply locking people up have not fixed the issue -- we have to work together come together and do the right thing for our communities".

Copyright 2017 WLBZ


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