Archive | Drug Abuse

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Heroin & Opiates: Policing vs. Treatment: The opiate crisis in Maine is at an inflection point. The governor is promising a crackdown on users and traffickers. Yet those who need treatment face reduced medical benefits and tighter controls on opiate therapy drugs to prevent diversion. Both options are needed. Which will have better results for Maine?

Pain as the fifth vital sign: VA initiative reshaped treatment approaches

In the practice of medicine, four measurements have long served as indicators of the body’s basic functions: pulse, breathing, temperature, and blood pressure. In 1999, the Veterans Health Administration — the country’s largest government-run health care system — proposed a fifth vital sign: pain. The concept was initially promoted by the American Pain Society. The VA […]

“Someone Who Cares” wins People’s Choice award for Maine Focus Film Festival

We’re pleased to announce the People’s Choice winner for our student film festival, Someone Who Cares, written and directed by David Rice of Winterport, a senior at Hampden Academy. The film is about a teen struggling with an addiction to prescription pills. It explores the feelings that he has as a result of his addiction and emphasizes the […]

How specific policies can help stop Maine’s prescription drug abuse epidemic

The rapid rise of the sale of prescription drugs between 1999 and 2010 has resulted in a corresponding problem: death. Sales of prescription painkillers have quadrupled nationally in that time, and so have overdoses. Now more people die from prescription drug overdoses than those from heroin and cocaine combined. In Maine, the rate of death […]

Young addict back on the road to recovery

Kenji Yamauchi, 24, has been involved with drugs for more than half his life, and hooked on heroin for years. He’s used Ecstasy, psychedelics and cocaine, and admits to “doing some pretty shady shit” to pay for drugs. He’s attempted suicide three times — most recently after finding himself in a homeless shelter and realizing […]

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