I live and work in Maine (actually, the paper that published that article is my local newspaper). I can't speak 100% for why the opiod epidemic is such a problem up here. I think it's a multitude of factors, probably similar to what the rest of the country is facing. We are a fairly rural state, with a lot of blue collar workers who have a higher risk of getting injured at work. Prescription pain killers prescribed for an injury, prescription runs out and whoops, they are now addicted. We are easy to get to from the big cities like Boston and NYC- just a short jaunt up I95, cross the big green bridge and you're in Maine. Drug dealers have expanded their market! Our governor is more concerned with increasing law enforcement (this is NOT a post against law enforcement!) to treat drug addiction, rather than providing funding and easier access to treatment centers, especially in the REALLY rural parts of the state. Did you know that some towns in Maine don't even have names? They are called Township #29, etc. People in those places have to drive HOURS to get to a detox/treatment center.
If anyone is REALLY interested, this is a link to a 10 part series one of the newpapers did up here about the opiod crisis.
A deadly epidemic: Addiction to opioids has put an entire generation at risk - Portland Press Herald
About school nurses up here: In my area, the schools
are fairly well-staffed with nurses. In my school district, we have 4 nurses. Two of those nurses stay full time at their respective schools, and 2 nurses split time between 2 schools each. I thought this was a well-written article that really highlights the role of school nurse as more than just a band-aid giver-outer.