When it comes to addressing Maine’s opiate epidemic, some answers are easy, even if acting on them is more difficult for the average citizen.

More people with addictions need easier access to treatment for their condition, particularly medication-assisted treatment coupled with therapy. That means, in part, that Maine’s Medicaid program needs to raise the rate at which it reimburses methadone clinics, and it needs to end the two-year lifetime cap on methadone and Suboxone treatment that took effect in 2013. Addiction is a chronic medical condition, and it needs to be treated as such.

More doctors should take the training necessary to prescribe Suboxone — the brand name for the anti-addiction medication buprenorphine — and a greater range of medical professionals should be able to prescribe it to patients with addictions once they’ve received the necessary training. Congress should ultimately eliminate the cap on the number of patients to whom doctors can prescribe Suboxone.

When people with addictions end up in jail, they need access to robust treatment options while incarcerated.

But jail generally isn’t the optimal place for someone with an addiction to begin recovery. While drug possession is illegal in Maine, law enforcement officers need to be able to exercise discretion and refer people found in possession of heroin or other illegal drugs to treatment, not the criminal justice system. Friends and family members of people with addictions need to have assurance that they won’t be prosecuted for witnessing an overdose — a prospect that causes many to hesitate before calling for help when a friend or loved one has overdosed.

Law enforcement officers should also carry the overdose-reversing drug naloxone on them, and the drug needs to be more widely available in general. Maine’s Legislature must override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of legislation that would allow pharmacists to sell naloxone over the counter.

The list of easy solutions goes on, but these are solutions that require political will and rely on the actions of others.

What can the rest of us do to help out?

That’s a more difficult question — but far from an impossible one to answer.

Part of the answer lies in how all of us view addiction. Do we cling to an inaccurate and unproductive view that people with addictions are wrongdoers? Can we change the attitude and encourage others in our community to do the same? After all, when someone with a substance use disorder feels isolated, he or she can be even more likely to continue using and less likely to seek help.

And part of the answer lies in how our communities come together to address the problem of addiction, which is as much local as it is statewide, national and international.

In February, the BDN’s community of readers came together to experience the story of Garrett Brown, told by BDN editor Erin Rhoda, who followed the 21-year-old from Augusta for two-and-a-half years before he died last November of a heroin overdose.

On May 4, the BDN will turn Garrett Brown’s story into action at an event at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center called the OneLife Project, where community members will come together in World Cafe style to collaborate and answer specific questions about what Maine and, specifically, all of us can do about the state’s addiction crisis.

Those who attend the event, which will feature U.S. Sen. Angus King, will come out of it with action steps.

Take a look at the questions that will guide the discussion that night at bangordailynews.com/one-life-project, and register to attend.

While solving Maine’s addiction crisis is a seemingly insurmountable challenge, there’s no chance it will be solved without all chipping in as they are able.

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The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...