January 16, 2018 – The disease of addiction has wide-ranging effects on communities. The drug epidemic causes homeless rates to increase, which is why one lawmaker has proposed a measure to assist homeless people struggling with addiction.
Maine Rep. Drew Gattine plans to introduce legislation that would pave the way for a project to provide drug treatment and emergency housing to homeless people struggling with addiction, according to the Portland Press Herald. The state health department would offer medication assisted treatment and access to stable housing for 50 people.
Gattine noted the project would focus on the connection between addiction and homelessness. Via the report:
Maine recorded 376 drug overdose deaths in 2016 – more than double the number just three years earlier – and was on a similar pace for 2017 as of midyear. The Maine Attorney General’s Office is still compiling the overdose statistics for all of 2017.
Access to drug treatment in Maine is limited, especially for those without insurance or the means to pay out-of-pocket. Faced with a surge in drug overdoses at their downtown facility, Preble Street staff members have become de facto first responders to attempt to revive individuals suffering from the deadly effects of opiate overdose.
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Read the full story in The Portland Press Herald.