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Rep. David C. Burns (R-Whiting)
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For Immediate Release

Date: 03/05/12

Rep. Burns Named to Substance Abuse Services Commission

House Republican Office

March 5, 2012

For more information:

Jay Finegan, 287-1445


AUGUSTA - State Rep. David Burns has been named to Maine's Substance Abuse Services Commission. This 21-member group, created in 1993, serves as a bridge between the Office of Substance Abuse, Maine citizens and elected officials regarding the issues of prevention, research, identification and treatment.

The appointment was made by House Speaker Robert Nutting.

"I'm pleased to be named to this commission, which does a great deal of good work," said Rep. Burns (R-Whiting), who serves on the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee and co-chairs the Government Oversight Committee. "There is no question that substance abuse is a serious problem in Maine. From 2003 to 2010, more than 1,300 Maine residents died from drug-related abuse, not counting alcohol-related fatalities. We also have a significant and growing problem with prescription drug abuse."

Rep. Burns has extensive experience in drug enforcement and education. During part of his 24-year career in the Maine State Police, he was assigned to the Bureau of Intergovernmental Drug Enforcement (now the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency). He was the Special Agent in Charge of a Drug Enforcement and Interdiction Unit for Washington and Hancock Counties.

As a school board member, moreover, he was trained in substance abuse issues to establish school-based programs to keep youths off drugs and alcohol. He currently is on the board of directors of the Recovery Support Network, a grassroots organization in Washington County that works to provide a home for women with or without children in the early stages of recovering from addiction. In addition, Rep. Burns has served on other boards and committees in the Washington County area dedicated to addressing substance abuse issues.

The Commission, which meets monthly, has an extensive list of duties. For example, it advises, consults and assists the governor, the executive and legislative branches of state government and the chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court regarding governmental activities related to drug abuse prevention, including alcoholism and intoxication.

Additionally, it serves as an advocate on alcoholism and drug abuse prevention, promoting and assisting activities designed to meet the problems of drug abuse and drug dependence at the national and state levels.

The Commission also works closely with the Office of Substance Abuse, which provides leadership in substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment. Its goal is to enhance the health and safety of Maine citizens through the reduction of the overall impact of substance use, abuse and dependency. ###

Jay Finegan
Maine House Republicans
Tel: (207) 287-1445