In 2016, my best friend died of a heroin overdose in Portland. He was an artist, he was a brother and son, and he was a great person. He is dearly missed. He is just one of the many people who’ve been taken from us.

We all know someone or are someone who has been affected by what can accurately be described as an epidemic. We are all experiencing the pain, the suffering and the torment of this catastrophe.

We are seeing the toll it is taking on our communities, and we are all hoping that what little resources we have to help improve the problem will be enough to make a difference. We are in a war that we are losing, and we need to continue to take sufficient action to help improve conditions. We are all being directly affected by this disease.

If passed, L.D. 377 (“An Act To Create a County Jail Drug Rehabilitation and Grant Treatment Program”) will provide grant money to create evidence-based treatment facilities affiliated with Maine’s jails in order to help rehabilitate and intervene in cases where individuals need substance use disorder treatment. Through offering these services, we will be able to promote recovery while also chipping away at the stigma surrounding substance use disorders.

Recovery is not possible without support, and it is on all of us to be helpful to those who are using. Our recovery efforts should have as many faces as addiction does. No two stories are alike, and no two people will find recovery the same way.

It’s necessary for us to provide as many support systems as we can until we start to see relief for those who are struggling with addiction. Too many of us have lost our loved ones. Please, show your support for L.D. 377.

Katherine Clemens

Portland