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Maine legislators override governor's veto of naloxone expansion

May 2, 2016
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Maine state legislators have officially and overwhelmingly rejected Gov. Paul LePage's view that expanding access to the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone simply perpetuates the cycle of addiction. The state House and Senate on April 29 voted to override LePage's veto of legislation that will allow for some pharmacy dispensing of naloxone without a prescription.

The vote in both chambers left no doubt about state lawmakers' support for making naloxone more widely available for individuals at risk of an opioid overdose. The House vote to override was 132-14, and the Senate vote was 29-5.

LePage had argued that interdiction and prevention strategies that address the root causes of addiction were a more preferable approach in response to the opioid crisis. But the addiction professional and law enforcement communities had strongly backed the legislation to expand access to life-saving naloxone.

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