As the latest session of the legislature closed this year, reporter Eric Russell was watching how lawmakers would respond to the opioid addiction and overdose crisis. Last year, 376 Mainers died after taking some form of prescription or street-bought painkiller: things like OxyContin, fentanyl, heroin, or a combination of drugs. Russell was the lead writer for Portland Press Herald’s Lost, a chronicle of how addiction and death impacts communities as a whole, and thought the urgency of the issue would result in legal changes and … it didn’t.

In this episode, Russell explains to social media editor Jim Patrick how ongoing narcotic addiction spread into the mainstream and they discuss how framing the issue as a moral crisis is impeding meaningful change.

Related stories:

Lost: Heroin’s Killer Grip on Maine People

As Maine’s opioid crisis worsens, 128th Legislature largely does nothing

Mainers will soon be able to get Narcan over the counter

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