Acadia Senior College


Maine's Response to the Opioid Epidemic

September 25, 2020

12:00 Noon

Gordon Smith, Maine’s Director of Opioid Response, will discuss the history of the opioid addiction problem in the state, its root causes, and the state response.  Built around the focus areas of Prevention, Treatment, Harm Reduction and Recovery Support, Maine’s Opioid Response Strategic Action Plan has been recognized across the country as a comprehensive and modern approach to a public health crisis.  Mr. Smith will also discuss the challenges of responding to a continuing epidemic in the face of a global pandemic, where in some cases effectively responding to one materially damages the recovery efforts of the other.

Dr. Andres Abreu, the Medical Director of the Mount Desert Island Behavioral Health Center, will focus his discussion on the medical treatments of opioid use disorder and the efforts undertaken by Mount Desert Island Hospital to address the epidemic.

Gordon H. Smith, Esq. was appointed by Governor Janet Mills as Director of Opioid Response in January 2019. He is responsible for coordinating and directing Maine’s response to the opioid crisis, which includes prescriber education, reduction of opioid prescriptions, prevention and treatment of substance use disorder, and harm reduction strategies. He was the Executive Vice President of the Maine Medical Association from 1993 to 2019, and prior to that served as General Counsel at MMA. Mr. Smith graduated from the University of Maine in 1973 and from the Boston College Law School in 1976. He is a past Chairman of the American Society of State Medical Association Counsel, a nation-wide group of 140 attorneys representing medical associations. Mr. Smith has also served as Chairman of the American Medical Association/State Medical Society Litigation Center, the Maine Health Data Organization and the Advocacy Resource Center of the American Medical Association. He is a former board member and chair of Quality Counts, a former board member of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership, and the Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Dr. Andres Abreu specializes in general psychiatry. Dr. Abreu earned his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College and completed his psychiatry residency at Maine Medical Center. Dr. Abreu also received fellowship training in hospital-based psychotherapy at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His medical expertise and interests include psychotherapy and the treatment of substance use disorders. As the Director of the Mount Desert Island Behavioral Health Center, he oversees the MDI Hospital-Penn Medicine psychiatry program, which brings residents from Penn Medicine to MDI Hospital each summer to practice on the Island under his guidance. Additionally, Dr. Abreu is a clinical instructor in psychiatry for the Tufts University School of Medicine Maine track longitudinal curriculum, which brings two Tufts medical students to MDI Hospital each year.

Virtual Zoom presentation

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