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Originally published as "Opioid Settlement Funds Must Be Used To Tackle Maine’s Addiction Crisis," Bangor Daily News, December 8, 2021.
For decades, the waves of the addiction crisis — driven significantly by opioids — have wreaked havoc on Maine. Rates of overdose and addiction first started to uptick in the late 1990s, when opioid manufacturers and distributors marketed opioid drugs as safe and non-addictive. Since then, the tides of this storm have crashed into every Maine community and family.
In 2019, Maine’s Attorney General Aaron Frey joined more than 3,000 plaintiffs in filing a suit against these companies to hold them accountable for their role in the opioid crisis — in what would become one of the largest and most complex legal cases in national history.