Summit on Prescription Drug Abuse Sought by Maine Attorney General
The Attorney General of Maine, Bill Schneider, is calling for a summit this October to seek ways on how to stem the growing prescription drug abuse problem in the state. In a study released early this year, Maine was found to have the worst legal drug abuse problem in the country.
In an interview, Mr. Schneider, said, “It is more serious in Maine than in most states. We are a rural state and it seems to be a rural state kind of problem. The bigger, more urban states still have the more prevalent problem [of] cocaine and crack.”
The state AG also said that prescription drug abuse was the major topic during the June meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General. After sessions with national experts, he decided to hold a summit to determine what specific actions should be done to minimize the abuse of legally prescribed drugs in Maine.
I don’t even think that the majority of the solution is a law enforcement solution,” said Mr. Schneider. We have to get the doctors and dentists and all of the prescribers involved. We have to get the pharmacists and the insurance companies that cover these services; we have to get all of them involved.”
While he does not expect the summit to come up with the “magic bullet” that will finally solve the problem, Mr. Schneider said he is hoping that the meeting will identify what steps could be taken to minimize the growing menace.
The decision of the Maine AG to hold a summit is being welcomed by many sectors. John Morris, the Public Safety Commissioner, for his part said, “I am delighted that the Attorney General has called this meeting. He is bringing to together all of the players and hopefully we can find some solutions.”