Augusta — Governor Paul LePage, who was saved from an addiction to food by a last-ditch medical procedure, has yet to act on rules allowing the distribution of heroin-overdose drug Naloxone without a prescription.
LePage, who was exhibiting early signs of diabetes before having much of his stomach bypassed to allow less room for food, believes giving people Naloxone without a prescription will only reinforce the “cycle of addiction.”
The Governor told a radio program in 2017 about the amazing recovery he’s enjoying since having bariatric surgery to help him lose weight.
More recently, both the governor and his wife Anne LePage spoke at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery to champion what medical science could do to help both the governor and first lady get their lives back.
LePage’s own mother lost her vision and legs to diabetes, a painful memory for the governor, and one that served as a wake-up call to go through with the life-saving procedure.
LePage, who once said Naloxone “does not truly save lives; it merely extends them until the next overdose,” told the gathered group of doctors “we shouldn’t be afraid to speak about what will kill us and we shouldn’t be afraid to treat it.”
Bariatric surgery isn’t fool-proof, and if careful consideration isn’t taken, weight can return to pre-surgery levels. Comedian Ralphie May, who underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2004, ultimately regained much of the weight he lost. He passed away of cardiac arrest last year.