- Associated Press - Monday, January 1, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A new law aimed at addressing Maine’s opioid crisis is coming into effect as advocates demand more urgency.

Law enforcement officials say 376 Mainers died of a drug overdose in 2016.

Republican Rep. Deborah Sanderson backed a new law that requires Maine health care providers to have an opioid medication prescribing policy by Jan. 1.

A 2016 prescription monitoring law called on state regulators to study whether the limits on prescriptions for opioid medications had any impact on out-of-pocket costs for patients. The law said that study’s due by Jan. 1, 2018.

A state task force recently said the state has a long way to go on issues such as uninsured people lacking treatment, county jails struggling with inmates’ substance use disorders and the need for more recovery housing.

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