Posted by Dick Hall

Chief Bob MacKenzie started by giving kudos to Portland Rotary for all the work we are doing with our awareness training and the recovery coach training.  He then gave us an update:

• The District 7780 committee meets monthly and all are invited to attend. The committee last met 1/24/19. Reducing stigma really makes a difference, and this is the #1 goal of the committee. The committee is always looking for ideas.

• New Hampshire Rotarians will be starting substance use disorder awareness and naloxone administration training soon.

• Through a Rotary Club, the District now has an account so it can accept donations to be used for the work.

• Last August, the Kennebunk “Above Board” group had a fundraiser to benefit substance use disorder. After the first 125 $25 tickets sold out, they expanded the event to 180 people. At the event a live ask netted $21,000, with a total of $55,000 from the event. The event will be August 23rd this year.

• Some proceeds will be used for more recovery coach training. A training was created to teach emergency responders to use the techniques from the coach training, primarily to treat everyone with respect. 25 first responders will be trained 1/28/19.

• From the results of this training a 2-hr training will be created and be added to this years mandatory training for all ME police officers.

• The Governor is very supportive of substance use disorder. Other groups such as Pine State Association and the National Education Association are developing training for all their members.  

• AmeriCorps will be providing a person, to work with the Kennebunk Police and Rotary to support the opioid epidemic efforts shortly.


What is happening with the pushers? ME Drug Enforcement is very active. There continue to be more drug dogs. Laws are being adjusted to focus on dealers not users.

What is the status of treatment beds? We are gaining ground with new beds being added in many parts of the state. Pine Tree Recovery Center and a Saco outpatient facility recently opened. We still need more but now are able to find a place for all who want treatment, even if they have to go out of state.

Where is the product coming from? Phentenol, the most addictive drug, is primarily coming from China.

What about the doctors who are pushing drugs? The chief said he heard there was a class action lawsuit to force drug makers to pay for the effect of their drugs, similar to the tobacco lawsuit.

How does legalization of marijuana affect things? The chief was not a supporter of legalization. He says that he has heard many times that marijuana was the first drug to be used. His daughter started with marijuana, and got hooked on opioids. She went through treatment and seemed to be doing better, but Thursday night she was arrested for dealing phentenol.

Which drug cause most overdoses? Phentenol by a wide margin. It is so strong and works so fast that it catches people by surprise. Often, when Narcan (naloxone) is not immediately available, it is fatal.









(Photo L-R:  1st VP Amy Chipman, Chief Bob MacKenzie and Matt Wolcott.)





(Photo L-R: the Club's Opioid Task Force - back row: Bruce Moore, Tom Ranello, Chief Bob MacKenzie, Jesse Harvey; front row - Jan Chapman, Gracie Johnston, Doreen Rockstrom and Megan Peabody.)