According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), ninety-one Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, and the number of overdose deaths involving opioids has quadrupled since 1999. Closer to home, here in Maine, there has been a 265% increase in deaths from prescription opioid overdose in men, and a 400% increase in deaths in women since 1999. Maine has the distinction of leading the nation in the highest rate of prescriptions for long-acting opioids.

These and other statistics have been shared by Gordon H. Smith, Esq., Executive Vice President of Maine Medical Association, as he travels the state meeting with health care providers to explain the opioid law changes that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Mr. Smith is a Maine native, graduating from the University of Maine with highest distinction in 1973 and from the Boston College Law School, Magna Cum Laude, in 1976. He practiced law privately before coming to the Maine Medical Association as General Counsel in 1981. He is a past Chairman of the American Society of Medical Association Counsel and the AMA/State Medical Society Litigation Center. Mr. Smith has also served as Chair of the Maine Health Data Organization and of the Executive Committee of the Advocacy Resource Center of the American Medical Association. He is also a former Chair of the Board of Quality Counts, a regional quality improvement collaborative and a former board member of the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging. He is a current board member of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership. In 2016, he was named by Maine Magazine as one of fifty Mainers influencing public policy and events in the state.

In 2015 Mr. Smith received the President’s Award from the Maine Public Health Association for “exemplary service and commitment to the practice and profession of public health in the State of Maine.” In 2016, he received the President’s Award from the Maine Primary Care Association for “dedication to improving the quality, accessibility and value of health care in Maine.” A frequent lecturer to medical groups on various medical legal subjects, Mr. Smith has served as Executive Vice President of the Maine Medical Association since September 1993 and has had a relationship with the Association dating back to September 1979.