Letter to the Editor: Support LD 360

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I am writing to ask my friends, neighbors, and community to support LD 360: Resolve, To Reduce Barriers to Recovery from Addiction by Expanding Eligibility for Targeted Case Management Services. The public hearing before the Committee on Health and Human Services is on April 15, 2021, at 1pm.

As the rule is written, adults with substance use disorder must be pregnant, living with their own minor children, and/or using drugs intravenously in order to qualify for targeted case management services through MaineCare. This severely delimits access to services that support safety and recovery at a time when Maine needs to step up to do more.

In 2020, Maine had 502 fatal overdoses, surpassing the previous high of 417 in 2017. The data available for 2021 indicate a continued and alarming trend upward. There were 58 fatal overdoses in January and 45 fatal overdoses in February of this year. These two months each saw more fatal overdose deaths than the average of 42 deaths per month in 2020, indicating a worsening shift that demands our attention.

Substance use disorder does not discriminate. Adults who are currently eligible for targeted case management comprise only a fraction of adults living with substance use disorder in Maine. Every person with MaineCare benefits and a diagnosis of substance use disorder who is seeking approved treatment services should be eligible for targeted case management.

Every person with substance use disorder deserves a chance at meaningful recovery.

Respectfully submitted,
Danielle Blair, MHRT/C (Farmington resident)

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