“Trip’s Law” Proposal to Prevent Overdose Deaths in Maine
It seems we read about an opioid overdose almost every day here in Maine. In fact, Maine saw a record 502 deaths caused by drug overdoses in 2020. This horrible stat has touched my life and many others, so it was nice to see some action taken this week in the Maine legislature. This very practical and doable proposal was introduced by Rep. Lori Gramlich, of Old Orchard Beach. The law would help reduce overdose deaths by making sure unused prescription medications are properly disposed of when an in-home hospice patient passes away. The entity that prescribed the medication would be responsible for retrieving any unused medicine.
Gramlich’s proposal, named "Trip's Law", is named for Trip Wilson, a South Portland teenager who died from an accidental overdose after discovering medication that had been prescribed to a family member and was never safely discarded.
Trip's mother, Kim Wilson said of the proposal,
“I am living every parent's worst nightmare by losing my child in such a tragic and unexpected way. I should be watching my son graduate high school and preparing for college. Instead, I am pouring over data about an out-of-control epidemic and preparing for a public hearing. I am moving forward by memorializing my son through legislation that can prevent this tragedy from happening to anyone else. We need to do everything we can to assure that no other family has to lose loved ones to easy access to deadly medications."
Amen, Kim, and good for you to make something positive come out of your family's tragedy. The bill will now go through the Maine Legislature and hopefully enacted into law. If you want to support this cause, simply contact your Maine legislator and tell her or him to pass "Trip's Law".
- The end of life caregivers are responsible for keeping track of all prescribed medications; their strengths and amounts.
- Medications must be kept in a lockbox or other secure container. If we can do it for guns, we should be doing this for certain medicines.
- Medications must be removed after the death of the patient and disposed of responsibly