Predictably, deaths continue to surge as invalidated lethal treatment models and systems drive high-risk opioid use

by Clark Miller

Published February 19, 2023

In Maine,

2022 was not a good year for opioid crisis outcomes, with high-risk use, overdoses, and lethal overdoses reaching new record levels.  

The Maine Attorney General’s Office released its latest report Thursday, tracking deaths from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2022. In 2021, 631 residents died from an overdose and in 2020, the number was 502. Before 2014, the total had never gone above 200.

In all, 10,110 overdoses were reported in 2022, which means about 7 percent resulted in death. The death toll would certainly be even greater if not for the increased availability of Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an overdose if taken in time.

That’s correct, the number of deaths underestimates increase in high-risk use and potential lethality because of increased numbers of naloxone reversals tied to essentially universal campaigns across the country to increase availability and use of naloxone. 

Nor were proceeding years indicators of anything but a worsening lethal crisis in Maine, described in this post, from July of last year. 

graphic of opioid overdose deaths

The grim trend apparent 6 months ago did not stop America’s drug policy director from celebrating success, as reported – 

National leaders cited Maine as a leader in responding to the opioid crisis during a state summit dedicated to the topic Monday, an accolade that came against the grim backdrop of rising overdose deaths.


Maine saw a 9 percent increase in overdose deaths in the first five months of 2022 compared with the same period last year, according to the state’s monthly overdose report, which showed three-quarters of those deaths involved fentanyl. It could foreshadow a new high after Maine saw over 600 people die from overdoses last year. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show Maine was in the top 10 states for drug overdoses in 2020.

. . .

But national leaders say the state’s data-driven focus and efforts to provide multi-pronged support to people in recovery helped shape its own policies and could help other states tackle the issue.

“And that leadership, what you’re seeing and living every single day here in Maine, is what we will want to try to replicate all over the country,” said Rahul Gupta, the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under President Joe Biden.

In an interview, Gupta said he was specifically struck by Maine’s tracking of nonfatal and fatal overdoses. It demonstrated the need to revamp how the country tracks overdoses, something he called for in an article in late June. He also highlighted the state’s mobile recovery team and treatment for incarcerated people, as well as efforts to provide housing, childcare, jobs and food security support that helped shape his office’s drug control strategy, he said.

Dr. Rahul Gupta,director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

From the previous post – 

Indeed, Maine has significantly increased provision of the addictive, diverted, misused substitute opioids – primarily Suboxone in medication assisted treatment programs ( MAT)  established as worsening the opioid crisis by serving as commodity and currency in economies of illicit street opioid use – beginning 2019, along with traditional addiction treatment services, the standard American “treatment” established as at best providing no benefit, predicting harm

That celebrated multi-year “Expansion of MAT” that increased provision of the invalidated, sham treatment approaches is described here

replicate all over the country

Since that time even more expansion of treatment services has been implemented to provide and dispense America’s proven,  life-saving, anti-addiction cures and services for high-risk opioid use and the opioid crisis. 

The remarkably effective approaches that Dr. Rahul Gupta hopes to “replicate all over the country”. 

Take a look. It’s worth viewing the video from this abc local affiliate report

“Part of the governor’s and my responsibility is to not give up and let people know recovery is possible, but they kind of have to meet us halfway,” Gordon Smith, who Mills appointed to lead the opioid epidemic response, said in an interview. “People have to decide that they want to get better, and then it’s on us.”

Gordon said a-half-dozen residential facilities have added 140 detox beds, and there are now 66 recovery residences, formerly known as sober houses, in Maine.

Gordon also said the number of methadone clinics has increased from 10 to 13.

He said, “We have doubled the number of prescribers of outpatient medication.”

The “outpatient medication” this expert is referring to is methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone). 

Replicate this –

Instead of saving lives, your expert-consensus, proven, life-saving anti-addiction treatment is killing more and more vulnerable Americans, diverting $billions in public healthcare resources away from real treatments, and exposing weaker, more desperate excuses and lies.

Your system is a lie.  

We know why

Why A Critical Discourse?

Because an uncontrolled epidemic of desperate and deadly use of pain-numbing opioid drugs is just the most visible of America’s lethal crises of drug misuse, suicide, depression, of obesity and sickness, of social illness. Because the matrix of health experts and institutions constructed and identified by mass media as trusted authorities – publicly funded and entrusted to protect public health – instead collude to fabricate false assurances like those that created an opioid crisis, while promising medical cures that never come and can never come, while epidemics worsen. Because the “journalists” responsible for protecting public well-being have failed to fight for truth, traded that duty away for their careers, their abdication and cowardice rewarded daily in corporate news offices, attempts to expose that failure and their fabrications punished.

Open, critical examination, exposure, and deconstruction of their lethal matrix of fabrications is a matter of survival, is cure for mass illness and crisis, demands of us a critical discourse.

Crisis is a necessary condition for a questioning of doxa, but is not in itself a sufficient condition for the production of a critical discourse.

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