Last week, ME gubernatorial candidate, Mark Eves recognized Recovery Month and our leaders in Maine and committed to supporting recovery in his state. We need policy-makers at every level to embrace and advocate for policies and systems that ensure all those in recovery or struggling with substance use disorders can find the support they need to thrive. Read his public note below!

Dear Friend,

Every day another Mainer dies from a drug overdose. The disease of addiction is taking a haunting toll on Maine. The statistics can be paralyzing and overwhelming, but we must not give up trying to solve this scourge. We must meet the problem with a comprehensive approach to prevent and treat the disease of addiction, and fully support those in long term recovery.

I recently met with an amazing group of young people who are active in Maine’s Young People in Recovery group. They reminded me that September is National Recovery Month. Recovery Month is the celebration of the incredible perseverance of our loved ones.

And there is reason to celebrate. 25 million adults in the U.S. self-identify as being in remission from substance misuse. One of them is my friend Andrew Kiezulas. Andrew is the founder of Maine’s first chapter of Young People in Recovery, and a cofounder of USMs Recovery Oriented Campus Center. He is also a public policy graduate student committed to using his experience to ensure policy decisions are oriented toward people, not punishment.

I’m proud of Andrew. I stand with him, and all those working toward a life of recovery.

National Recovery Month is a time to pledge our support to those seeking help and those in recovery. As your Governor, I will commit to fighting for expanded prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services. I will work against negative stereotypes that stigmatize and dehumanize our friends and family impacted by this treatable disease.

I hope you will stand with me and commit to being a recovery ally. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but people in recovery give me hope. They remind me that we should never, ever give up on one another.