Even as families, their communities, and health care providers all struggle to keep up with the rapidly worsening opiate addiction crisis, our governor and his staff are AWOL. It might only be a juicy news event that our governor alone did not attend the recent New England governor’s conference on the opiate crisis were it not for the fact that here in his state he is doing everything he can to thwart treatment. That’s right, thwart treatment.

As a provider I have to claw my way through DHHS red tape in a struggle to get paid, a struggle I am losing, by the way. But it gets worse. The governor and his staff are proposing new rules to make treatment even harder to deliver and, for those in need, harder to come by.

This is a perfect storm. We have the highest incidence of opiate addiction among young adults in the country, every week five or six citizens die of an unintentional drug overdose, and our governor turns a deaf ear to the treatment community and every addiction specialist who might advise him.

If you care about this issue or some afflicted by it, I urge you to write to the governor or call your representative to ask him why this is happening. The governor needs to know that you care.

Steve Bien, M.D.

Jay