POLITICS
04/21/2016 04:55 pm ET Updated Apr 21, 2016

Maine Gov. Paul LePage To Heroin Addicts: Drop Dead

No, seriously. That's pretty much what he said.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has routinely attracted attention for off-color, racist or bizarre public statements.

But in what ranks as one of the most vicious messages ever to accompany a veto, LePage explained Wednesday that he blocked a bill to increase access to a life-saving overdose medication because the people it could save are just going to die later anyway.

“Naloxone does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” LePage wrote.

It was not the first time LePage had shared such a belief, but attaching it to his veto elevated it to a statement of official policy.

“Creating a situation where an addict has a heroin needle in one hand and a shot of naloxone in the other produces a sense of normalcy and security around heroin use that serves only to perpetuate the cycle of addiction,” he wrote.

While a staggering number of people have died as the result of the heroin and opioid epidemic, many have also recovered, and many more are waging battles with addiction they will eventually win. LePage’s assertion that everyone who overdoses once and lives will surely overdose again, rather than seek treatment and recover, is divorced from reality.

“No one in Augusta is working harder than Governor LePage to save lives,” LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett told The Huffington Post in an email. “In fact, the Governor just signed a bill, which he crafted and proposed, that adds 200 beds for the treatment of addicts at the Maine Correctional Center —the most beds ever added for drug treatment. Democrats, liberals and the media have ignored it.”

Thanks to LePage, there will be fewer people alive to make it to those beds.

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