Maine Law Challenges Stigma Of Opioid Crisis By Tweaking Language

May 14, 2018

Groups that want to end Maine’s opioid crisis say a new state law will help reduce stigma by tweaking language in existing statutes.

The law removes references to terms like alcohol and drug abuse and replaces them with “substance use disorder.” Rather than saying alcoholic or drug addict, “person with substance use disorder” is used.

Auburn Republican State Sen. and U.S. Senate candidate Eric Brakey sponsored the legislation. He says this was a recommendation proposed by a special legislative task force looking into the state’s opioid crisis.

“Personally I think there’s a lot more we should be doing and we can be doing to combat some of the opiate epidemic we have in our state, but this is kind of one of the smallest steps we cold take,” he says.

The measure became law without the governor’s signature on May 1.