Maine Drug Use Trends
Maine is located in the New England region of the United States, with New Hampshire to the west and the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick also bordering the state it is both the northernmost and easternmost portion of New England. The state is well known for its coastline, mountains and forests as well as its cuisine, with lobsters and clams being a specialty. The state does struggle with issues which all other states struggle with, and it isn't immune to substance abuse problems among residents and challenges in preventing and treating them.
Alcohol consumption begins at a very early age for Maine residents, with over 25% of high school students reporting past month consumption and one-third of Maine youth having done to before the age of 13. Alcohol is the most frequently used substance among adults in Maine, with over 50% of adults consuming alcohol within the past month. The age group at the highest risk for heavy alcohol use in the state is residents between the ages of 18-25 years old, with more than one in ten reporting consumption of at least one alcoholic drink per day in the past month, and almost three out of ten reported binge drinking in the past 30 days.
Prescription drug abuse, which is non-medical use of prescriptions, is a particularly serious problem in Maine. One in seven high school students in the state report having misused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, and around 10% of high school students in Maine had misused a prescription drug at least once within the past month. Pain relievers which are opioid medications with properties and effects much similar to street opiates such as heroin are the main prescription drugs abused in the state. The rate of non-medical use of prescription pain relievers in Maine is higher among adults ages 18 to 25. The rate of lifetime prescription drug misuse overall is highest among individuals between the ages of 26 and 35, and nearly one in ten adults have misused prescription drugs within their lifetime in the state. The consequences of prescription drug misuse are stark, and in 2012, most drug overdose deaths in Maine involved oxycodone (29%), benzodiazepines (24%) and methadone (20%).
Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug in Maine, and one in five high school students in the state report using it within the past month; similar rates are seen within the young adult population. Adults between the ages of 18 to 25 report the highest rates of cocaine use within the past year. Heroin is a problem in particular among youth in the state, and it is estimated that about 10% of homeless youth in Maine have used heroin during their lifetime, a rate that is about twice as much as Maine high school students. And while overdose deaths involving methadone in Maine have been decreasing, those related to heroin are on the rise.
There is effective drug treatment available in Maine for individuals struggling with any type of substance abuse problem. When intervention efforts aren't working, it is important to get individuals into a comprehensive drug rehab program as soon as possible before any of the aforementioned consequences of substance abuse become a reality. A drug intervention may be necessary in many cases, which can be easily accomplished with the help of a professional treatment counselor at the drug rehab program of choice in the state or if necessary with the help if a professional drug interventionist.
Drug rehab in Maine can differ in terms of the types of treatment offered, from more traditional programs to alternative ones. Behavioral modification for example is a very common treatment technique utilized in alternative programs, as opposed to treating addiction as a disease. In any case, programs in Maine which provide long-term treatment in settings where individuals won't have access to drugs and can completely focus on treatment have the highest success rates and are well-prepared to deal with any type of addiction. These are typically called inpatient or residential facilities and many quality programs are even covered through private health insurance.
Population in Maine:1,321,505
State Prison Population in Maine:2,024
Probation Population in Maine:9,322
Violent Crime Rate in Maine:
2007 Federal Drug Seizures in Maine:
Cocaine seizures in Maine:5.2 kgs.
Heroin seizures in Maine:0.0 kgs.
Methamphetamine seizures in Maine:0.0 kgs./133 du
Marijuana seizures in Maine:78.4 kgs.
Hashish seizures in Maine:0.6 kgs.
MDMA seizures in Maine:0.0 kgs./45 du
Meth Lab Incidents in Maine:0
(DEA, Maine, and local city Law Enforcement)
Drug Situation in Maine:
- Locally grown, as well as marijuana imported from Canada, Massachusetts, and New York, remains the primary drug of abuse in Maine.
- The use and availability of cocaine, heroin, and diverted pharmaceuticals continues to be a problem in Maine.
- Methamphetamine remains a minor concern Maine, although a border incident involving "Yaba" was reported recently and law enforcement in northern communities are on the alert for Canadian-produced "Extreme Ecstasy."
- A potential problem exists for methamphetamine production and distribution in Maine. Interstate 95 provides an important north-south transportation route for traffickers traveling to sources of supply in several northeastern Massachusetts cities. Maine's 228 miles of coastline and 3,478 miles of shoreline offer ample opportunities for smugglers as well.
- Cocaine is available throughout the state of Maine in fractional-ounce to kilogram quantities.
- Traffickers in Maine normally travel by means of private vehicles to meet cocaine suppliers, generally Dominican violators based in Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn, MA.
- Cocaine has also been imported to Maine from as far away as New York and New Jersey.
- Abuse of crack cocaine continues to increase in southern and central Maine communities, with Portland and Lewiston serving as the main distribution points for dealers.
- Massachusetts-based Dominican traffickers continue to be the main suppliers of high quality heroin to the Maine distributors.
- Maine distributors, who normally transport the drug in private vehicles, provide for a moderately increasing availability of heroin in the state.
- While use is more widespread in the southern communities of Maine, it is also encountered in coastal and Canadian-border communities and has spread into rural and remote areas.
- Methamphetamine is becoming a more serious topic of concern in Maine.
- Abuse and availability have increased in Aroostook County, as can be seen from reports of "Yaba" and "Enhanced Ecstasy" seizures at the northernmost border points of Maine.
- Low-quality methamphetamine is express-mailed into Maine from California and the southwestern states.
- Trafficking groups supplying methamphetamine to Maine are typically connected to outlaw motorcycle clubs or are involved with "raves."
- Maine's size and rural population create an ideal environment for large-scale methamphetamine manufacturing.
- Law-enforcement officials in southern Maine are encountering MDMA use, often associated with rave parties and the student population.
- Suspected Canadian-produced "Enhanced Ecstasy" has been encountered at the northern border of Maine.
- Marijuana, which is historically the drug of choice in Maine, is plentiful and easily available.
- Year-round indoor grows are abundant in Maine, but high-grade marijuana cultivated in Canada is smuggled over the border.
- Commercial-grade marijuana in Maine is often obtained from middlemen in the southern New England states and New York.
- Hashish is available in small quantities, but the increasing popularity of hashish in Canada may change the situation in Maine.
- Traffickers occasionally have moved hashish and hash oil through Maine and into Canada.
- Caucasian traffickers in Maine typically supply local marijuana as well as marijuana shipped from the southwest border and Canada. Shipments ranging from 15 to 500 pounds historically enter Maine via Interstate 95 in automobiles, campers, rental trucks, and tractor-trailers.
- Maine has numerouso statutes related to marijuana possession, cultivation, trafficking, therapeutic research programs, paraphernalia, illegal importation, and asset forfeiture. These laws are often recognized as the reason that Maine residents must travel to obtain their illicit drugs from out-of-state traffickers.
- PCP purchased in Boston, MA is available in the southern portion of Maine.
- LSD, available in gelcap form, is abused by young students in Maine.
- Psilocybin mushrooms, often obtained from commercially available cultivation kits, are available in Maine.
- Khat continues to be a problem in ethnic communities in Lewiston and Portland, Maine.
- Maine continues to experience an increase in the availability of diverted pharmaceuticals.
- Oxycodone products such as Percocet, Roxicet, Dilaudid, and OxyContin are easily available in Maine.
- Doctor-shopping schemes, falsified prescriptions, and illicit sale and distribution by health-care professionals and workers are the primary diversion methods used to obtain illicit pharmaceuticals in Maine.
- Canadian pharmaceuticals continue to be smuggled into Maine.
- Current investigative information indicates that OxyContin diversion continues to be a problem in Maine.
- Methadone has also been identified as being among the most commonly abused and diverted pharmaceuticals in Maine.
- In 1995 a program was created known as the DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams, or "MET". This was in response to the overwhelming problem of drugs and drug-related crimes across the nation. Since the inception of the program, there has been one MET deployment in Maine, in Lewiston.
- There were 67 drug violation arrests made in Maine in 2007, which is a statistic that has been declining for the past several years.
- Interstate 95, "The New England Pipeline," remains the interdiction focus in Maine. This travels through the interior of Maine, connects several of the larger cities, and terminates at the Canadian border.