Maine Gov. Paul LePage — notorious for his racist, xenophobic and ignorant rhetoric — has basically told residents battling substance abuse to slink off and die, because according to him, helping addicts is equals to enabling them.
The Republican vetoed a state bill Wednesday that would have allowed pharmacists to dispense naloxone, a life-saving drug that reverses the opioid overdoses, without prescription to anyone at risk of overdosing.
“Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” LePage wrote in his veto letter. He believes making the medication more accessible would only “perpetuate the cycle of addiction” — meaning, why save people who are going to die anyway.
Thirty-five states across the country have passed laws allowing over-the-counter drug, commonly known as Narcan, on pharmacy shelves. Considering the fact the situation is much worst in Maine, where heroin overdose has turned into a downright crisis, the governor’s stance is not only illogical and inhumane, it is an absolute disregard to citizens' lives.
“Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction,” the 67-year-old added in his statement.
Long story short, if someone is overdosing on opioid, they should first spend time and money to obtain a doctor’s note because their life does not matter.
“With this insensitive statement, Gov. LePage is insinuating that Mainers suffering from addiction are beyond reach — that they cannot be saved,” state Sen. Cathy Breen (D-Falmouth) said in a statement. “I disagree. Narcan can be the difference between an early grave and an intervention that can put an addict on the path to recovery. We know that Narcan saves lives. It is incumbent on us to make sure it is readily available.”
Moreover, LePage’s claim that naloxone encourages drug abuse is simply false, since researchers have proved that such medication greatly decreases overdoses and overall drug use.