SSN Commentary

Opioid Settlement Funds Must Be Used To Tackle Maine’s Addiction Crisis

Policy field

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University of Southern Maine

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.