Chief Bob MacKenzie of the Kennebunk Police Department will speak to the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 7:30 AM via Zoom. He will address the Opioid Epidemic and Substance Use Disorder here in Maine.  Chief MacKenzie is a Rotarian and Chairs the Rotary District 7780 Recovery Initiative.  District 7780 covers southern Maine and coastal New Hampshire. He recently testified in front of the United States Congress H.E.L.P. Committee on the opioid epidemic and is speaking to Rotary Clubs and others across the District with the goal of educating Rotarians and community members on the crisis.  Chief MacKenzie states “this is a public health crisis and we need to work together in our various communities to help save the lives of our sons/daughters, husband/wives, bothers/sisters etc.”    

Although COVID has dominated the headlines, the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder is an epidemic and is getting worse in Maine.  In fact, according to Chief MacKenzie, more Mainer’s died from overdoses in 2020 than died of COVID.  Now Maine is averaging 50 overdose deaths per month in 2021.  Maine lost 502 citizens to overdoses in 2021 and with this current rate of deaths, we are on track to exceed that number this year.   

 

"Not to take way from the devastation of COVID, the opioid epidemic and substance use disorder is prevalent in our society and there are many things we as community members can do,” remarked MacKenzie.  “The first step is getting educated and reducing the associated stigma.”  

 

The Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club asked Chief MacKenzie to speak about this important issue and invites the community to this meeting.  Held via ZOOM, it can be accessed by contacting George Szok at gszoksbox@gmail.com

 

For more information about Rotary or the Bridgton-Lake Region Rotary Club specifically, see our website at https://www.lakeregionrotary.com or Like Us on Facebook.  You may also contact Jessica Putnam at LakeRegionRotary@gmail.com.