This is from the obituary for Coleen Sheran Singer from the Bangor Daily News on July 29: "She was a victim of herself, of [Maine Governor] LePage’s politics, of our society’s continuing ignorance and indifference to mental illness, and of our society’s asinine approach to drug addiction." Singer died of an overdose of heroin, to which she had been addicted to for nearly half her life. She tried to get help: "For nearly four years Coleen was in methadone clinics and dedicated herself to sobriety. Taking to heart the adage that 'without drugs, anything is possible,' and with the sometimes slavish devotion of the man she briefly married, Coleen earned her driver’s license, went to the gym regularly, completed nail tech school, worked successfully both part time in retail sales and full time caring for disabled adults, and enrolled in community college."
By the way, the man she briefly married is who wrote this obituary, a last act of love for someone whose illnesses didn't allow her to love herself the way she needed to.
After falling back into using, Singer found that her chances of getting treated again had dried up: "In later years, after LePage removed poor adults from MaineCare, Coleen could not afford the methadone clinic. Heroin was the cheapest way to avoid going into withdrawal...Coleen wanted to get back into a methadone clinic, but LePage and enough republicans in the Legislature said 'No' to the Medicaid expansion. It is no stretch to say that but for LePage’s veto of the Medicaid expansion, Coleen probably would not have shot the heroin that ended her life, and probably would not have had the serious recurring infections that ravaged her limbs the last couple years."
Maine's governor, Paul LePage, is an unrepentant inflamed, bloody asshole. He is probably insane, certainly incompetent, and folksy and down-to-earth and tell-it-like-it-is enough to get elected because, in this stupid country, braying assholishness is seen as courage, howling insanity is seen as likeability, and head-smashing idiocy is seen as wisdom. Reward the goon-looking motherfucker who has all three with reelection.
So not only has LePage vetoed multiple times the state legislature's attempt to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a veto upheld by the same legislature, but prior to that he cut MaineCare (as the Medicaid program is called there) by nearly 70,000 participants by lowering the income eligibility threshold and by other conservative fuckery. This was back in 2011, when the rats and lice in the legislature voted to support LePage's cuts. He had tried to boot 19 and 20 year olds off it, but the Department of Health and Human Services in DC told him to stop being such a cunt about it because the federal government considers people under 21 to be minors when it comes to this kind of shit. He tried to sue the HHS, but the U.S. Supreme Court shut that down. Yeah, this fucker can't go to jail soon enough.
Whether or not Maine will do anything about the heroin epidemic there, one that has hit many places thanks to cheap supply and worthless drug policies, people like Singer and David McCarthy will keep falling through the man-made cracks in our society. Conservatives like to talk about Christian love, but they know shit about loving. A compassionate state or nation or politician wouldn't just talk about doing things to help the addicted and the mentally ill. It would do something. Now, we do not. We sit on the sides and bemoan the fate of people, many of whom could be helped, many of whom, like Coleen, wanted to be helped.
Coleen Singer was in the Bangor Daily News seven months ago. She had been arrested, along with three men, for possession. She was in the paper in 2009, arrested for prostitution, which her ex-husband says she turned to in order to fund her habit. There is also news about her arrest in 2014 for the same. Between 2009 and 2014, you can see her mugshots tracing her fall, deeper and deeper, into...well, into something.
Instead of posting those pictures, here's one from her ex of just a woman on a beach posing for a camera.
The beaches of Maine are lovely, but the water is so very cold.