Maine lawmakers on Monday (2/29) will take up a bill that seeks to address the state's drug epidemic by developing a substance abuse prevention program for middle school and high school students.  The bill would require that state education officials consult with experts and develop a model program that provides students with firsthand accounts of problems arising from drug abuse.

The bill's sponsor, House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, a Democrat from Skowhegan, said the bill is inspired by the work of a Henry Gates of Skowhegan. Gates devoted his life to educating middle and high school students about the dangers of opiates after his 21-year-old son died from an overdose of heroin in 2009. The Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill Monday. (AP)