Drug addiction, like other substance addictions, is a health problem, a societal problem, and the cause of increased crime and so many family and community problems. Substance use disorders, their causes and consequences are complex, with no one sound-bite solution, no single cause or contributing factor. What we do know is that enforcement alone does not solve the problem. The “war on drugs” is a failure.
We need a multi-pronged approach:
- Enforcement of drug dealing and trafficking crimes
- Treatment for people with addictions and support for their recovery
- Prevention to keep people from becoming addicted
Here in Lincoln County I have been working with others to reach an agreement between all municipal police chiefs, the Sheriff, LincolnHealth, and Mid Coast Hospital’s Addiction Resource Center to set up protocols and work together to get people who are ready for help into treatment and support in recovery. It’s called the Lincoln County Recovery Collaborative, and involves not only those signatories on the front line of the problem, but also community partners to support and expand upon those efforts with social change, prevention, and community engagement.
On July 15, 2016, at a gathering in the courtyard of Skidompha Library the Memorandum Of Understanding was signed. This important agreement marks the start of this work. I look forward to this collaboration’s accomplishments and that of others in the community coming together to support the efforts and accomplishments, becoming Recovery Collaborative Community Partners.