Opiates and Heroine Are Flooding Into The Beloved Pine Tree State

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I’ve been hearing some disturbing reports out of a particular US state that I have fond memories of. For those of you reading this that live in the North Eastern USA, or the South Eastern areas of Canada, you may have visited the beautiful state of Maine over the course of your years. It’s a perfect summer destination with plenty of beaches, mouth-watering seafood and hundreds of years of noble history. I’ve been more times than I can count, and each time have been able to rest, eat and admire the beauty. For many of us who treat Maine as a sort of safe place to spend a week or two during our summer vacation times, it may come as a surprise that the state is dealing with a serious drug problem. According to a family doctor who practices in that state, the reports on big time drug arrests, the shutdown of countless meth labs and of course the prescription opiate problem are piling up. Rare is it a day that you don’t hear something about Maine’s substance abuse problem on some form of media.

Like many other places across North America, people in Maine fell victim to the delights and eventually the tortures of prescription opiate medications. Most, of course, began with a serious injury or chronic illness that caused tremendous pain, but now that doctors and law makers in Maine have tightened the leash on over-prescribing, many are turning to heroine, a much more powerful (and dangerous) alternative. Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s a lot cheaper, but what a price to pay as the risks of overdosing due to the unknown ingredients and strengths are very high.

Doctor Brian Pierce, a family doctor who is also the head of the Maine Medical Association believes that while the problem is very serious, there are steps that can be taken, and he remains optimistic about the future of his state’s physical and mental health. Some points he believes that can help change the tragic situation are:

First of all, individuals suffering from substance use disorders deserve our compassion, empathy and respect. This disorder is a chronic disease and should be treated as such.

Secondly, more state and federal resources need to be dedicated to both treatment and prevention

Doctor Pierce also believes that certain tactics being used by the government of Maine, such as using more drug enforcement agents, will reduce the amount of heroine coming into Maine. On the surface this sounds good, of course, but the problem lies with the fact that if the heroin supply dries up users will simply seek out another more readily available means to get the high and relief that they need.

Dr. Pierce firmly believes that the stigma of drug addicts has to go, and be replaced by a better understanding of the disease if any true progress is to be made.

 

VIA: Portland Press Herald

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Opiates and Heroine Are Flooding Into The Beloved Pine Tree State

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