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Drug Abuse Trends: Maine

Today, the problems of drug and alcohol abuse are more than widespread, they're universal, but they're also changing.

In Maine, opiates, including prescription drugs, are the most commonly cited drugs among primary treatment admissions. Marijuana is a far behind in second place.

Addiction is overtaxing the rehab facilities available in Maine and according to state health services.

From 2011 to 2014 there was a 340% increase in drug overdose deaths. And 89% of those overdose deaths were as a result of opiate abuse and addiction. In 2014, 7 out of ten Maine ODs were from the use of opiates and heroin.

According to the Main Department of Health and Human Services, (DHHS), Heroin overdose deaths increased from 7 in 2010 to 57 in 2014. In the same period, Deaths from Fentanyl rose from ten in 2010 to 43 in 2014.No other increases of OD deaths from specific drugs were as dramatic. Maine ranked 30th in the nation in drug poisoning deaths in 2013, but the rate of increase is a real concern.

This comparison shows Vacationland unfavorably with the rest of the nation as shown on the graph below.

During the same period, 2002-2013, methamphetamine deaths actually were significantly reduced. Other drugs, including prescription pain relievers likewise are on the decline. But where heroin is concerned, there aren't any reductions.

This appears to be the case throughout New England and carrying east through New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Kentucky and Ohio are being particularly hard hit by the current heroin epidemic.

From 2011 to 2014, Maine observed a 34% increase in the number of all drug related overdose deaths. Not surprising considering the drug arrests due to heroin more than quadrupled in that time period. Children are, of course, not unaffected. In 2014, there were a total of 961 reports of drug affected baby notifications which demonstrates a 480% increase from 2005.

This number steadily growing over the last decade and has prompted the distribution of opiate overdose emergency kits.

Most calls to the Maine Poison Centers were regarding opiates and/or heroin in 2014. Second place were benzodiazepines such as, Xanax, Valium and Klonopin.

This spread of addiction is overtaxing the rehab facilities available in Maine according to state health services.

Treatment centers in Maine are definitely over crowded, with about 423 admissions to treatment per 100,000 residents. But help is still available. Drug-free rehabilitation programs located in or out of state are showing greater and greater success in terminally handling addiction to opiates, anxiety drugs and a host of other addictive substances of abuse.

Illicit Drug Use in the Past Month among Persons Aged 12 or Older in Maine, by Substate Region: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2010, 2011, and 2012 NSDUHs (Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

Maine's 2013 Substance Abuse Trends indicated that of the proportion of all overdose deaths, and those involving heroin rose sharply in 2012 to 14 % (up from 4% in the two prior years).

Maine State Government Agencies

Drug Abuse Facts

Drug Abuse Information

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