LePage, Law Enforcement to Hold Summits on Drug-Related Crime Friday

By Moretto, Mario | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), October 24, 2013 | Go to article overview

LePage, Law Enforcement to Hold Summits on Drug-Related Crime Friday


Moretto, Mario, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


AUGUSTA, Maine -- Gov. Paul LePage and the state's public safety commissioner will meet Friday with law enforcement officials from around the state to talk about Maine's growing drug abuse problem.

The events, which the administration has dubbed "Drug Crime and Awareness Summits," will take place in Westbrook and Auburn. The meetings are closed to the public and media, but LePage and John Morris, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, will answer questions after each summit.

LePage's press secretary, Adrienne Bennett, said Thursday that the governor is going into the meetings without any particular action plan in mind, but is looking to "see if there's anything the state can do to help."

"We know there are problems, we know prescription drug abuse is very real in Maine," she said.

Said LePage in a statement: "The personal and economic costs associated with drug and alcohol abuse are significant. I am focused on discussing and working with local law enforcement to maintain the safety of our state. If there is something we can do at the state level, we need to take action."

In 2010, the total estimated cost of substance abuse in Maine was more than $1.4 billion, or more than $1,000 for every Maine resident, according to a statement from LePage's office. It also said that in 2012, 779 babies were born drug-affected, and it expected this number will climb in 2013.

The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency seized 27.5 pounds of bath salts through the first 6 months of 2012 alone and Maine is subject to ever increasing numbers of out-of-state drug trafficking organizations. …

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