Eggs & Issues: Battling Maine's Opiate crisis
Specifically, what is being done about it and how businesses can get involved. Panelists at the event included Portland Chief of Police Michael Sauschuck and Dr. Steven Kassel.s.
Kassels addressed some of the medical and psychological issues that stem from heroin dependency.
"What is the difference between dependency and addiction?" Kassel said. "Dependency is when it's no longer a choice. The continued engagement in behavior despite adverse consequences."
Chief Sauschuck spoke to the relationship between substance abuse and crime, saying that opiate addiction can be traced to most major crimes within the past few years.
"The vast majority of crimes that we investigate, the vast majority of calls for service that we go on, involve individuals (who) are having a substance abuse issue," he said. "That doesn't mean the vast majority of folks, that just means that we are operating under what we refer to as a 90-10 principle... You spend 90 percent of your time dealing with 10 percent of the population."
Chief Sauscheck said that many crimes, such as robberies and other property crimes, can be traced directly to substance abuse issues.
Chief Sauschuck also spoke to how Portland can begin dealing with substance dependency issues.
"We need to focus on prevention, we need to focus on treatment, we need to focus on enforcement,," he said. "We need to do all three of those, or we will fail."
The next Eggs & Issues will shift themes to "Your Museum, Reimagined" when Mark Bessire, Director of the Portland Museum of Art, speaks Jan. 12 about the upcoming changes to the museum.