LePage Administration & Republicans running for governor remained shamefully silent on last year’s 11 percent increase in drug overdose deaths:
Westbrook, MAINE – The Maine Democratic Party today blasted the LePage Administration and Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidates for their deafening silence on yesterday’s disturbing revelation that drug-related overdose deaths surged by 11 percent last year to new, record breaking levels.
Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement calling on the Republican candidates for governor to stop hiding from one of the state’s most serious problems and tell the people of Maine their plan to address it:
“Under the LePage Administration, Maine’s opioid epidemic has spiraled out of control to shameful, record breaking levels – stealing the lives of more and more of our family, friends, and loved ones with every passing year. And how have Governor LePage and the Republicans who want to succeed him responded? With deafening silence. Even today, none of them have yet to utter a single word in response to this terrible news. Do they just not care, or do they not think it’s worth their time and energy?
“Today, I am calling on Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidates to speak out about our state’s opioid epidemic and to tell the people of Maine whether or not they believe Governor LePage’s policies deserve to be continued, or whether, like Democrats, they believe we need to enhance treatment options rather than restrict them, as the governor has done.
“The sad fact is that Governor LePage’s approach to this public health crisis has been dead wrong since day one, and we are tragically witnessing the results of his failures. When Mary Mayhew, Shawn Moody, Ken Fredette, Mike Thibodeau, and Garrett Mason say they want to be four more years of Paul LePage, does that mean they think the governor has done a good job?”
Since Governor LePage took office in 2010, drug-related overdose deaths have spiked precipitously. But LePage – along with former DHHS Commissioner turned Republican candidate Mary Mayhew, in many cases – has worked to restrict access to evidence-based treatment options, botched a treatment program that they said would help hundreds, and have worked to prevent improving access to the lifesaving, anti-overdose medication naloxone.