June 19, 2019

Stop methadone funds

If a drug is your problem, how can a drug be your solution?

For two years I have worked with women with drug and alcohol problems in the Penobscot County Jail. I hear story after story about the methadone clinic. These women wish they had never started methadone and feel like it’s almost impossible to get out of the methadone system.

The story I heard last night put me over the edge. A woman from Pennsylvania moved to Maine. She was told how easy it is to live off the state funding in Maine and get methadone at the clinic. After two years of constant methadone use and manipulation of this broken system, she now sits in jail, again funded by the taxpayer.

My mom has a state-funded job working with adults with mental disabilities – people who truly cannot help themselves. Whenever there are state budget cuts, my mom knows she might lose her job.

I understand that Maine needs to balance the budget but please, before we cut more state-funded programs and education, we need to revisit the methadone issue. The taxpayer needs the truth. How much of our tax dollars are used to fund the methadone programs? How many stay clean and sober? What is the success rate? I would be willing to guess the success rate of an educated child in a properly funded school is higher. I feel this is an injustice to the addict and to the future of our state.

Carrie Smith


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