BANGOR – We all know how bad the opioid epidemic is and how many people are affected by it.
Congressman Bruce Poliquin along with more than sixty individuals from across Maine came together to push for continued efforts to fight this epidemic and find solutions.
“We’re here because this opioid epidemic is not over things are not getting better,” said Poliquin.
He has been involved with the outreach program called Operation Community Safer also known as Supporting Area Families to Enable Recover since he’s been in Congress, “Unfortunately my only sibling my brother had substance abuse issues for thirty-five years, and he was a great guy, but he’s no longer with us as a result of that. This is very personal top me.”
The goal of this forum is to find innovative and new ways to address the issue and overcome it.
President and founder of the Maine Veterans Project Doc Goodwin said, “A lot of the people here have vast experience and a whole lot to contribute so I’m kinda just hoping that everybody takes something away from this, and puts more to the fight as a collective effort.”
Law enforcement and other community professionals want to hear the strategies and efforts everyone is taking to stop this epidemic.
Holden police chief Chris Greeley said, “It’s a problem every single community deals with and so I think if we can…if I can learn something from the Auburn police chief or the Penobscot County sheriff that I didn’t know, but that we could apply toward my community in holden than I certainly will benefit and hopefully that will be the case for everyone here.”
Recovery coach program coordinator at The Barn Bob Fickett said that supporting recovery is a community responsibility.
“What we mean by that is when we support recovery we’re not just talking about an individual we’re talking about supporting them, supporting their family, and supporting the community in general.”
He said he does see a change in the way people are thinking about recovery, “Hopefully that translates into some number decreasing.”