May 21, 2019
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Sessions traveling to Maine to discuss opioid crisis

Butch Comegys | AP
Butch Comegys | AP
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks at Lackawanna College on Friday, June 15, 2018.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is going to discuss the opioid and fentanyl crisis in Maine.

Sessions will deliver his remarks in Portland on Friday, a day after attending a similar event in New Hampshire. He will speak at 11 a.m. at the U.S. attorney’s office at 100 Middle St., his office announced Tuesday. He will not take questions, according to the announcement.

Sessions unveiled a task force in February to address the drug crisis. Its first action was to lend support to local officials in lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that are fueling the nation’s opioid addiction crisis.

Maine saw 376 total overdose deaths in 2016, or more than one per day. That’s up from 272 in 2015. In 2017, 418 people fatally overdosed.

News of Sessions’ visit, which was first reported by the Portland Press Herald, prompted groups upset by the Trump administration’s policies to begin organizing.

In a Facebook post, Mainers for Accountable Leadership said its members intend to protest the so-called zero-tolerance immigration policy, which has caused thousands of children to be separated from their parents at the border.

BDN writer Jake Bleiberg contributed to this report.

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Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that the 2017 data for overdose deaths hadn’t yet been released. It was released in late spring.

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