To the Editor:

The opioid epidemic is devastating the state of Maine. Hundreds of people die every year in the state, and the number is continually growing. Fighting this issue requires increasing education and taking action to stop the epidemic at its core.

I feel that the use of naloxone as a reversal agent should be limited. Although the drug is helpful in first-offense cases, using it to help revive repeat offenders only enables them to continue on the same path. Instead, we should focus on stopping the epidemic at its roots. This starts with encouraging abusers to seek proper treatment and rehabilitation. This is the only option that allows addicts to overcome addiction and start on a new, better path. Abusers should not be punished by law for their mistakes, as this forces them to live in fear of seeking help and continue the same pattern. The use of law enforcement should be limited to incarcerating drug dealers, thus limiting the inflow of drugs into the state.

We must encourage lawmakers to create new programs that aid in the fight of this epidemic and increase funding allocation for these important programs.

Danielle Dunham

Sanford