Drug Crisis Summit Participants Announced

August 18, 2015

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

Top officials will meet to discuss resources and take action

AUGUSTA – The list of participants who are attending the Drug Crisis Summit held by Governor Paul R. LePage on Wednesday, August 26 is now available. The group, which will discuss public safety strategies to address the deadly drug epidemic facing Maine, consists of top officials from state, local and federal law enforcement agencies and the justice system, as well as addiction treatment and recovery advocates.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Morris released the list Tuesday morning, which includes U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty; Chief Justice Leigh Saufley; Attorney General Janet Mills; and State Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Dr. Matt Sholl.

“We must identify how to best utilize the scarce resources available to combat Maine’s heroin crisis,” said Governor LePage. “I am very impressed by the group of individuals who will be at the table, and I anticipate an exchange of information that will help us find solutions to improve the health and safety of all Mainers.”

In recent years, the influx of illicit drugs into the state has risen in Maine, specifically heroin. More than 200 Mainers in 2014 died as a result of drug overdoses. The call to action and convening of the summit by Governor LePage came immediately after learning about 14 heroin overdoses in Portland, all of which occurred in a 24-hour period.

"Heroin has hit Maine hard and now we're starting to see an evolution of heroin,” said Commissioner Morris. “Initially, we were seeing heroin and fentanyl mixed together, but we are now finding many more cases of fentanyl alone. It's a lot cheaper to produce than heroin. We must identify specific problem areas and seek solutions before we lose more lives."

The list of participants includes the following:

Governor – Paul R. LePage
U.S. Attorney – Thomas Delahanty
Chief Justice – Leigh Saufley
Attorney General – Janet Mills
State EMS Medical Director – Dr. Matt Sholl
Commissioner Public Safety – John Morris
Commissioner DHHS – Mary Mayhew
U.S. Marshal – Noel March
DEA SAC New England – Michael Ferguson
Executive Director MCOP – Robert Swartz
President Maine Sheriffs – Sheriff Joel Merry
President Maine DA’s -Stephanie Anderson
Portland Police Chief – Michael Sauschuck
Chief Customs & Border Patrol – Daniel Hiebert
Colonel State Police – Robert Williams
Colonel Warden Service – Joel Wilkinson
Colonel Marine Patrol – Jon Cornish
Maine Drug Enforcement – Roy McKinney
Medical Examiner’s Office – Dr. Marcella Sorg
Maine National Guard – Brigadier General Gerald Bolduc
President Acadia Hospital – Daniel Coffey
Chairman Bangor Area Recovery Network – Bruce Campbell
Chief Medical Officer Maine General Hospital – Dr. Steve Diaz