Playing God (But As An Ill-Informed, Merciless Idiot)

by
Abby Zimet

Gov. Paul "How Did I Ever Get This Job?' LePage is expected to veto a bill providing first responders and at-risk users with Naloxone, a nasal-spray-like drug that can reverse overdoses, because he thinks it will encourage drug use, just like when you get pulled bloody and barely alive from the wreckage of a head-on car crash and then promptly think "Wow that was fun I wanna do that again," even though statistics show the exact opposite, and users who come back from a near-death overdose widely report it as "not a pleasant feeling," and virtually all scientific research and public policy - American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, World Health Organization, Office of National Drug Control Policy - argue that Naloxone works, as does the so-called "harm reduction" approach that recognizes addiction as an unhappy fact of life and "We cannot arrest our way out of (it)." Still, LePage keeps trying. Using the laughably simplistic, entirely discredited rhetoric of the Reagan-era War On Drugs - "We must hunt down drug dealers and get them off the streets. We must protect our citizens from drug-related crimes and violence.” – LePage has requested money for more drug agents while at the same time repeatedly cutting funding for substance abuse programs, leading to closures; limiting the time Mainers can get heroin replacement therapies under Medicaid; and vetoing bills to provide legal immunity for both health providers who administer Naloxone and anyone else who calls 911 during a suspected overdose in order to save their life, evidently following the logic that if you want to help or change someone, it's harder to do it they're, you know, dead. Thanks in part to LePage's actions, they increasingly are: Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine have quadrupled, with 163 drug-induced deaths last year. From Attorney General Janet Mills: “Each of these deaths represents a waste of a life, a preventable tragedy.” Save us from idiots in power; all of us deserve so much better.

"It’s time to stop grandstanding and spewing empty propaganda, Governor. You’re missing several pieces of the puzzle...(And) while you count beans, we continue to count bodies." - addiction and recovery counselor Jim LaPierre

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