AUGUSTA — Maine’s governor plans to host a virtual summit about the opioid crisis this week.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said she has scheduled the third annual Governor’s Opioid Response Summit for Thursday. She said the event is designed to assemble health care providers, policy experts, law enforcement officials and members of the public to work together on the opioid crisis.

Maine is on pace to potentially surpass the record number of drug overdose deaths that occurred in 2020. There were more than 500 overdose deaths in Maine last year.

Mills said participants in the summit will includes U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Acting Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House Regina LaBelle and former Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Michael Botticelli. Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah and others will also participate.

Mills said participants “will reflect upon those we lost and rededicate ourselves to preventing addiction, expanding access to treatment, and ending the scourge of substance use disorder to save the lives of Maine people.”

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