Sign In:


How Maine’s opioid crisis devastated families and created a generation of lost children

Nikole's story

About this Project

Sun Journal staff writer Emily Bader has spent the past six months investigating the contributing causes of Maine’s ongoing opioid epidemic and its impact on families and children while also seeking solutions from state officials, lawmakers, people in recovery and others.

This exhaustive analysis couples on-the-ground reporting with data that looks at how prescription opioids streamed into the state over the past 15 years, the rising death toll from opioids as changes to the law and a booming drug trade shifted the crisis away from pharmaceuticals to illicit and increasingly lethal drugs, and the growing pressure on schools and the child welfare system as the state grapples with how to handle this multi-generational crisis.

The project was produced in partnership with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism through its 2021 Data Fellowship program.

We do not take our responsibility to tell these stories lightly. Support local reporting in western Maine by becoming a subscriber.