“As an individual in long-term recovery from opioid addiction, as a clinician, and as the owner of multiple community and correctional treatment programs, I have witnessed the social and economic impact of the opioid epidemic across the state of Maine.
“I own and operate medically-assisted treatment programs here for people struggling with addiction. People come to us totally broken. In recovery, you see somebody change the course of their life, one day at a time. We see parents get their children back, people get jobs, and families find housing.
“I’ve also been involved in addiction treatment personally. By the time I turned 15, I was homeless and addicted to heroin, and spent 13 years on medication-assisted treatment. I worked my way through college, went on to graduate school, and built several companies. From my own experience, I know that recovery from addiction is possible, and that we must put a face and a name to recovery to truly change our perception of addiction.
“I had the opportunity to work with Sara on several bills involving opioid legislation in the state legislature, where she stood up to a very hostile administration. At times, she put her political career at risk, taking on Governor LePage to shine a light on an issue that families across our state know all too much about. Despite LePage’s efforts to block her bills, she wouldn’t take no for an answer – and she persevered and the bills were passed.
“Many people can say they’re here today – or say that their families, friends or neighbors are here today – because of Sara Gideon.
“Unlike most politicians, Sara fought for what she believed in, regardless of anyone else’s political agenda. She understands that access to quality health care is a human right. Her success as a legislator can be attributed to her authenticity, her willingness to collaborate and her persistence to represent the best interests of the people.
“Maine has the sixth highest rate of fatal opioid overdoses in the country. Addiction is a major healthcare issue; it requires prevention, education, access to treatment, and the belief that every life is worth saving. Sara sees that and has consistently taken real action. She’s saving lives here in Maine. I know she will represent the people and our best interests in the Senate.”
– Tim C., Walpole, ME