Officials and recovering addicts take Maine’s heroin epidemic head on

heroin-addictionSTATEWIDE (WGME) — York County leaders are trying to tackle what some describe as a heroin epidemic in Maine. Law enforcement says heroin is a growing problem throughout York County and the state. 

They say Wednesday’s panel discussion was a way to get the conversation going about heroin addiction and recovery.

Matthew Braun has been sober for 5 ½ years. “My addiction lasted about 3 years from 16 to 19,” Braun said.

Braun shared his story, hoping to change attitudes about addiction. “I think it’s a big community issue. It spreads deeper than the individual and the family and I think if communities made it easier and didn’t stigmatize and stereotype people it would be easier for people to get well,” Braun said.

Last year, EMS responded to nearly 3,000 drug overdoses statewide. More than 500 of those were in York County and only Cumberland County had higher numbers. 

York County Sheriff William King says drugs don’t just affect the addict but the whole community. “It’s really gripped our communities. It’s really devastated a lot of lives,” Sheriff King said. “It’s astounding. I deal a lot with people in the jail and when I speak to some of them who are incarcerated most of them tell me that their crime is drug fueled. It really is a challenge we need to address.” 

Sheriff King says the first step to finding a solution is admitting there’s a problem. He really hopes the conversation about this will continue. Article Link…

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