October 1 marks the beginning of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and the Department of Justice is doing their part to combat the opioid crises.

Opioid use in Maine seems to continue to be an issue among some of the citizens in the state.

Although arrests for opioid use and possession were on the decrease in 2016, opioid use still tends to be a problem in the Pine Tree State.

In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, an increase from the 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016, according to the CDC.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that President Trump has made ending the opioid crisis a priority for the administration and under his leadership, the Department of Justice has taken historic action.

That 'historic action' has the DOJ expanding of DEA's Drug Takeback Days and collecting more than 2.7 million pounds of expired or unused prescription drugs since April 2017.

Here is how the Department's Office of Justice Programs plans to distribute the $320 million in order to maximize effectiveness over the country.

  • $2.8 Million to help prosecutors develop strategies to address violent crime caused by illegal opioid abuse and distribution
  • $162 Million to help jurisdictions plan and implement programs aimed at reducing opioid abuse
  • $5.9 Million to address the treatment needs of people using the drug under the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program
  • $46.6 Million to help kids and youth impacted by the crises, to include technical assistance and training
  • $17 Million to address the increase in deaths and the backlogs of seized drugs as a result of the crises
  • $4.1 Million to develop new tools to enforce the law, ensure public safety and prevent and control crime, and ensure impartial and fair administration of justice.

What do you think about the opioid problem in Maine? Do you think this plan will help the trends to go down in Maine? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.