Sens. Dill, Gratwick appointed to Opioid Task Force

Posted: May 12, 2017 | Senator Dill, Senator Gratwick

AUGUSTA — Sens. Jim Dill of Old Town and Geoff Gratwick of Bangor have been appointed to serve on the Legislature’s Task Force to Address the Opiate Crisis in the State.

The 15-member Task Force is comprised of lawmakers and experts in the field of addiction, treatment and law enforcement, who will work together to propose comprehensive legislation to push back the tide of drug abuse and death which is leaving at least one Mainer dead from overdose every single day.

“There are few issues facing our state that loom larger over our communities and families than the drug addiction epidemic,” said Sen. Dill. “To solve it, we need a balanced approach of law enforcement, education and prevention, and recovery. My focus will be on finding solutions to make treatment  services available to more Mainers struggling with addiction. Helping Mainers on the path toward recovery will cut the demand for these powerful drugs, making Maine less attractive to the out-of-state dealers who peddle their poison in our state.”

The Task Force is charged with producing its first report and proposed legislation no later than April 30 for consideration during this legislative session. It must produce a second report and proposed legislation by December 6 for consideration during the 2018 legislative session.

“This task force gives us an opportunity to step back and assess this public health crisis from a 30,000-foot vantage point,” said Sen. Gratwick, a medical doctor. “People in our communities are dying preventable deaths. Action, based on proven methods of prevention, treatment and law enforcement, is required. The solution will require a plan, and the resources necessary to put it into action. I’m eager to get to work.”