Maine, like the rest of the United States, has seen its fair share of substance abuse and addiction problems. Among local residents, there are some people who struggle with addiction linked to prescription drugs.
In particular, these people take prescription drugs without a valid prescription from their doctor, or in contrast to the advice that their doctors issued when they wrote the prescription. Others abuse medications that were not prescribed for them, by taking them for no medical reason.
Over time, prescription drug abuse in Maine has been leading to many adverse consequences. These adverse effects include unintentional overdose and poisonings, automobile crashes, death, addiction, and an increase in criminal activity.
Although there is a lot to do and see in Maine, not everyone is able to enjoy everything that the state has to offer. In recent years, authorities have reported a rise in the rates of substance abuse, particularly involving prescription and club drugs.
This problem has mostly been reported in the pockets of Maine that are primarily occupied by largely young populations comprised of young adults and university-age young people across the state.
However, other figures show that the prescription drugs being abused in Maine do not find their way into the state through batch distribution supplies. Instead, most of them are provided in single trips that people make in their personal cars from suppliers in neighboring states.
As a result, it is increasingly becoming difficult for law enforcement officials to track the supply chain and break it. This is because most people who sell the drugs do not use any established distribution plan or schedule.
That said, the rising numbers of prescription drug abuse have mostly been seen in areas where young people flock too - including university and college campuses as well as entertainment spots across the state.
Between 2009 and 2017, state officials reported an increase in the number of students who were abusing prescription medications. This number increased from 5 percent in 2015 to 6 percent by the end of the study period.
Although it was not reported, 10 percent of students in high schools across Maine reported that they have abused a prescription pain relief medication like OxyContin, Vicodin, or codeine at least once in their lives.
In 2017, it was also reported that students in high schools across the state who did not have a perceived high risk of harm from abusing prescription medications were 5 times as highly likely to abuse these drugs as those who perceived that these medications were harmful.
Between 2015 and 2016, adults also abused prescription drugs in high rates. This involved the use of prescription medications for any reason other than a doctor wrote out the prescription for.
The state revised the prescription psychotherapeutic subtypes in 2016. As a result, this led to the comparability of codeine products from 2015 to 2016. Due to this, data from this period could not be used to evaluate the trends that existed between this period and previous years.
The summary for the same period also showed that the abuse of prescription drugs - particularly pain relief medications - was most likely among people aged between 18 and 25 years than it was among adults above the age of 26 years. The previous year, 7 percent of the residents of Maine between the ages of 18 and 25, for instance, reported that they had abused a prescription pain relief medication. This was in comparison to the 4 percent of residents above the age of 26 years who reported similar problems.
During the period between 2014 and 2016, about 4 percent of adults above the age of 18 years reported that they had abused prescription drugs at least once in their lifetime. During the same period, 9 percent of residents between the ages of 18 and 25 years reported the same, followed by 8 percent of residents aged between 26 and 35 years. 4 percent of residents between the ages of 36 and 49 years reported the same, while only 2 percent of residents aged 50 years and above had abused prescriptions.
Over more than 10 years now, the rates of overdose arising from prescription drug and opioid abuse have been rising sharply. Today, this problem is considered to be the most urgent healthcare issue in Maine.
Other figures relating to the rates of prescription drug abuse in Maine include:
To counter this problem, the state has been limiting the prescriptions that doctors and other healthcare providers write for patients - particularly as they relate to opioid medications. It has also been preparing various healthcare providers in the treatment of prescription drug abuse and addiction problems.
There are many addiction treatment and rehabilitation programs available in Maine. These programs are classified into both inpatient and outpatient drug rehabs, and they can help you overcome your prescription use disorder. It is recommended that you check into one of these centers so that you can get the assistance you need to achieve full recovery both in the short and in the long term.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.
Do you need help finding the right drug or alcohol rehab facility in your area?
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