Yesterday, after Paul LePage addressed the opioid crisis in a Portland press conference, his remarks were roundly condemned by doctors, corrections officers, and recovery community advocates.

Courtney Gary-Allen, an Augusta City Councilor and director of the Maine Recovery Advocacy Project, blasted LePage for doubling down on his disastrous record, including his opposition to the life-saving overdose reversal drug, Narcan, about which he said “I am hostile to it because I look at Narcan as a method sustaining life and extending life”:

"What I saw today was that he has not changed and he does not care about my community. He does not care whether or not my friends are dying on the streets, he's using them as backdrops to his press conferences so that he can get hits in the media…I cannot imagine a Maine today on the frontlines of the opiate crisis without the access…that we have to Naloxone." [Maine Public]

Dr. Noah Nesin, a family doctor at the Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor, criticized LePage for his scaremongering about life–saving harm reduction practices:

“We can’t go back to the terrible biases that he manifested when he was governor. “I think what he is trying to do is a red herring. He is trying to stir up the biases about this disease and I find that really troubling.” [Portland Press Herald]

“Basing an approach to the treatment of opioid use disorder in a terrible stigma that really exacerbates the disease and the public health problem is really a harmful approach.” [Bangor Daily News]

Randy Liberty, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Corrections, rejected LePage’s plan to revamp the state’s addiction treatment system:

“What we’re doing now is the gold standard.” [Bangor Daily News]

"We don't need to be building new beds. We need to do well with the beds that we have." [WMTW]