|February 11, 2019
Governor Mills Issues Executive Order to Implement Immediate Responses to Opioid Epidemic
Governor Janet Mills on Wednesday (2/6) issued a five page Executive Order detailing actions to be taken immediately to attack Maine's opioid problem. The order lists nearly twenty-five distinct actions including the immediate purchase and distribution of 35,000 doses of Narcan and naloxone.
Director of Opioid Response Gordon Smith will lead the efforts set forth in the order assisted by the fourteen Commissioners of the Departments of state government. At the press conference announcing the issuance of the order, Governor Mills and Gordon were joined by HHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Corrections Commissioner Randall Liberty. Lambrew and Liberty are two of the Commissioners that Gordon will work with most closely, along with Public Safety Commissioner Mike Sauschuck and the Commissioner of Education Pender Makin.
The 35,000 doses will include 15,000 doses of intra-nasal Narcan and 20,000 doses of injectable inter-muscular naloxone. Distribution will be to various sites including hospital emergency departments, needle exchange programs, public health districts, peer recovery centers, ambulatory care facilities and other locations determined by the office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services SAMHS).
Other immediate actions include the recruitment and training of 250 or more recovery coaches who will be available to serve various sites, including emergency departments. Ten of the recovery coaches will be available to serve ten emergency departments through contracts with SAMHS.
Also featured in the plan is the removal of MaineCare limits to medication assisted treatment and the initiation of treatment in the state prison system and county jails (in cooperation with the county sheriffs and jail administrators).
Of particular interest to physicians and other prescribers is the recommendation to encourage prescribers writing prescriptions for more than 100 MME or other potentially dangerous combinations of drugs to co-prescribe naloxone. The Director of Opioid Response is directed to work with professional associations and employers of prescribers to educate prescribers in this standard.
Many of the other recommendations involve efforts around prevention, treatment and harm reduction. The entire order can be found on the Governor's website.Next Article >
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