February 11, 2019

In This Issue
Governor Mills Issues Executive Order to Implement Immediate Responses to Opioid Epidemic
Maine Attorney General Releases Overdose Death Report for First Three-Quarters of 2018
Historical Society Exhibit on Medical Stories of Maine
New State Biennial Budget Proposes Funds for Medicaid Expansion, Opioid Response
New 2019 Post-surgical Opioid Prescribing Recommendations
MMA Wants Your Feedback: Physician Wellness Survey
MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, February 12th
Report from the State House
Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
Webinar Presented by Baystate Financial - Sources of Retirement Income - Tuesday, February 12th
Identifying Substance Use Early Saves Lives! - SBIRT with Motivational Interviewing Training - 1-day Sessions Offered on March 2 and April 6
NAMI Maine’s Beyond the Basics in Suicide Prevention Conference - Friday, April 12, 2019
Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Leeds
PCHC in need of Pediatrician at Multiple Locations!
Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
Full-time Board Certified/Board Eligible MD/DO
Outpatient Family Medicine - Brunswick, Maine
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health

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Maine Attorney General Releases Overdose Death Report for First Three-Quarters of 2018

Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey on Friday released the latest report on drug overdose deaths in the state. While the report included data from the first three-quarters of 2018, it also made projections for the entire year. The state is likely to see its first decrease in overdose deaths in several years when the year end data becomes available.

While a decrease in overdose deaths is certainly positive news, the total number of deaths still remain historically high and the number of deaths now connected to cocaine and methamphetamine is rising.  

From January to September 2018, there were 282 fatalities caused by drugs, a 5% decrease form the 297 deaths reported in the some period of 2017. The report, prepared by Marcella Sorg, PhD. of the University of Maine's Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, projects that there will be 376 drug overdoses for all of 2018. Compared to the 2017 total of 417 deaths, this would represent a ten percent decrease in overdose deaths. Deaths related to opioids, including both legal and illegal, are projected to drop 13% while deaths from cocaine and meth are likely to increase.
"Though we obviously welcome the sight reduction, the fact remains that the opioid epidemic is a public health crisis which is tearing apart Maine families and communities," Attorney General Frey said in a prepared statement. "Our office recognizes the urgency of this crisis and I am committed to working in a collaborative manner with Governor Mills, the Legislature, and all relevant agencies and community leaders to turn this crisis around by finding and implementing real solutions."
Another positive note involves the number of drug-affected babies born in the state in 2018. The 908 babies born drug-affected in 2018 represented the third year that the number has declined from a high of 1024 babies in 2016. Nonetheless, the fact that 7% of babies born in 2018 in Maine were born drug-affected demonstrates that the state has a long way to go in attacking the opioid problem effectively.
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