Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine
Drug death statistics for Cumberland County declined following an effort at public health information targeted at users/misusers. Specific education messages aimed at young adults, particularly males and 20-34 year olds will potentially reach the most at risk group. Messages regarding the dangers of diversion, recognition of snoring as a warning sign of respiratory distress, the benefits of placing users in the “recovery position to maximize airway access are being used in Cumberland and Kennebec Counties.
Education efforts targeted at health care providers who write narcotic prescriptions and the patients who receive them should be supported, particularly encouraging messages about the risks of misusing or diverting prescriptions, the need for proper storage and disposal, and the dangers of combining narcotics with other pain medication, tranquilizers, or alcohol, as well as the effective use of Maine’s Prescription Monitoring Program.
Sorg, Marcella H., "Maine Drug-Induced Deaths: A Brief White Paper Prepared for the SPF-SIG State Epidemiology Workgroup, August, 2007" (2007). Anthropology Faculty Scholarship. Paper 18.
© 2007 Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center
post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)