Calling a drug addiction helpline in Maine is the best way to find effective treatment for substance abuse. But this is just the first step in the journey.
Staying sober after substance abuse treatment presents many challenges, and it takes unwavering determination to overcome them. One of the main obstacles is that constant temptation and triggers can lead to a relapse. You may find yourself in familiar environments, with old acquaintances, or in stressful situations that trigger a desire to use substances. Additionally, the emotional and psychological toll of addiction can persist even after you complete a formal treatment program. As such, you need to learn to cope with any underlying issues and co-occurring mental health conditions to achieve successful long-term recovery.
The National Drug Helpline is a toll-free hotline number at 1-844-289-0879. We can help you find not only effective addiction treatment programs in Maine but also programs that offer aftercare support for relapse prevention. Calls to the helpline are answered by knowledgeable professionals who can connect you with local treatment facilities, resources, and support groups as well as offer guidance in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
Call 1-844-289-0789 today to talk about your concerns. Get answers to all your questions about substance abuse recovery in Portland, Lewiston, Bangor, Auburn, and other towns in Maine. We guarantee confidentiality and can help you take the first step to a healthy, happy life free of drugs and alcohol.
MAINE SUBSTANCE ABUSE RESOURCES
- State of Maine Department of Health – Office of Behavioral Health – Substance Use Disorders Services
- Strengthen Me
- Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings in Maine
- Maine Substance Use Prevention Services
SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY YOUTH IN MAINE
The Maine Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2021 showed the following findings among 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders in the state: 
- Percentage of students who had their first alcoholic drink before age 13 years: 11.0%
- Percentage of students who currently drank alcohol: 17.7%
- Percentage of students who go the alcohol they drank by someone giving it to them: 37.1%
- Percentage of students who reported they had 10 or more drinks in a row within a couple of hours in the past 30 days: 1.5%
- Percentage of students who ever used marijuana: 29.2%
- Percentage of students who tried marijuana for the first time before age 13 years: 5.7%
- Percentage of students who used currently used marijuana in the past 30 days: 17.1%
PRESCRIPTION PAIN MEDICATION MISUSE
- Percentage of students who ever took prescription pain medications such as codeine, Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet without a doctor’s prescription or differently than prescribed: 9.7%
EXPOSURE TO DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
- Percentage of students who ever used cocaine: 2.2%
- Percentage of students who ever used inhalants (glue, aerosol cans, paints, sprays): 7.2%
- Percentage of students who ever used heroin (smack, junk, China White): 1.2%
- Percentage of students who ever used methamphetamines (speed, crystal meth, ice, crank): 1.4%
- Percentage of students who ever used ecstasy: 2.4%
- Percentage of students who ever injected an illegal drug: 1.0%
- Percentage of students who were ever offered, given, or sold an illegal drug on school property: 19.9%
SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN MAINE
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports the following with regards to substance use in Maine: 
YOUTH AGED 12-17 YEARS
- Past-month marijuana use was reported by 10.5% of adolescents in 2017-2019 compared to 11.4% in 2002-2004. During a similar timeframe, the US national average decreased from 7.9% in 2002-2004 to 6.8% in 2017-2019.
- Past-month alcohol use was reported by 9.3% of youth in 2017-2019 compared to 15.2% in 2002-2004. The US national average also showed a downward trend from 17.6% in 2002-2004 to 9.4% in 2017-2019.
- Past-month illicit drug use was reported by 11.5% of Maine teens aged 12-17 years in 2017-2019 compared to 10.1% in 2015-2017. The US national average was stable at 8.2% during this time.
- Past-year initiation of substances (first lifetime use) was reported by youth as follows during 2017-2019: Alcohol 9.2% (US average 9.3%), marijuana 6.9% (US average 5.2%), and cigarettes 2.7% (US average 2.3%).
Marijuana and alcohol use among adolescents in Maine have shown positive trends with decreased usage in 2019 compared to 2002. However, illicit drug usage has increased during this timeframe.
YOUNG ADULTS AGED 18-25 YEARS
The data for young adults aged 18-25 years in Maine is as follows:
- Past-year marijuana use was reported by 50.3% of young adults in Maine in 2017-2019 compared to 37.4% in 2002-2004. During a similar timeframe, the US national average increased from 28.7% in 2002-2004 to 35.0% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year marijuana use disorder was reported in 7.8% of young adults aged 18-25 years in Maine in 2017-2019, compared to 7.1% in 2002-2004. The US national average changed from 6.0% in 2002-2004 to 5.6% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year opioid use disorder was reported in 1.7% of young adults in Maine in 2017-2019 compared to 2.1% in 2015-2017. The US national average changed from 1.3% in 2015-2017 to 1.0% in 2017-2019.
- Past-year illicit drug use disorder was reported in 10.6% of Maine residents aged 18-25 years in 2017-2019 compared to 8.0% in 2015-2017. The US national average was around 7.2% to 7.5% during this time period.
- Past-month binge alcohol use was reported by 38.7% of young adults in 2017-2019 compared to 41.3% in 2015-2017. The US national average in 2017-2019 was 35.4% showing binge alcohol use in Maine is higher than the average for the country as a whole.
- Past-year alcohol use disorder among young adults aged 18-25 was reported in 9.9% of Maine residents in 2017-2019, compared to 16.9% in 2002-2004. The US national average for 2017-2019 was 9.8%. Maine therefore has a similar percentage of young adults diagnosed with alcohol use disorder compared to the US average for all states.
- Past-year substance use disorder was reported in 17.9% of young adults aged 18-25 years in Maine in 2017-2019 compared to 14.5% in 2015-2017. The national average has hovered between 15.1% and 14.7% during the same time period.
MAINE RESIDENTS 12 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER
The Behavioral Health Barometer also found the following for 2017-2019 in Maine residents aged 12 years and older:
- Past-year tobacco use: 25.7% (US average 26.8%)
- Past-year marijuana use: 24.2% (US average 16.2%)
- Past-year marijuana use disorder: 2.2% (US average 1.6%)
- Past-year heroin use: 0.82% (US average 0.30%)
- Past-year prescription painkiller misuse: 2.8% (US average 3.7%)
- Past-year opioid use disorder: 1.2% (US average 0.7%)
- Past-year illicit drug use disorder: 3.8% (US average 2.9%)
- Past-year alcohol use disorder: 5.7% (US average 5.3%)
- Past-year substance use disorder: 8.8% (US average 7.4%)
- Number of people enrolled in substance use treatment (single day counts for 2019): 14,550
- Number of people enrolled in opioid treatment programs (single day counts for 2019): 2,640
- Problems among people enrolled in treatment: 48.2% drug problem only, 19.0% alcohol problem only, 32.8% both drug and alcohol problems
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES OF FIGHTING SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN MAINE?
Fighting substance abuse in Maine presents a unique set of challenges due to the state’s geographical and demographic characteristics. Despite its serene landscapes and close-knit communities, Maine battles significant drug-related issues that require a comprehensive approach for prevention and intervention. Some of the issues that affect substance use in Maine include:
Maine’s vast rural areas create difficulties in delivering timely and comprehensive substance abuse services to the state’s inhabitants. Access to treatment centers, healthcare facilities, and support networks can be limited in remote regions, leading to delays in getting help and increased vulnerability to substance abuse.
Maine’s economy heavily relies on seasonal industries such as tourism, agriculture, and fishing. The fluctuating job market can result in economic instability and stress, contributing to substance abuse issues as people cope with uncertainties and pressures.
Like most states in the USA, Maine is facing an opioid epidemic that has caused significant harm to the state’s communities. The high prevalence of prescription opioid use and heroin addiction has put a strain on healthcare resources and led to a surge in overdose deaths.
Maine has one of the oldest populations in the country , and with aging comes an increased risk of prescription drug misuse and dependency. Elderly individuals may face challenges in managing their medications, leading to unintentional abuse or addiction. Multiple comorbid health conditions in the elderly can also increase the risk of prescription drug abuse.
Limited Treatment Facilities
While there are many substance abuse treatment programs available in Maine, the demand often exceeds the available resources. Long waiting lists for treatment can hinder timely intervention, reducing the chances of successful recovery.
The presence of co-occurring mental health disorders along with substance abuse issues is known as dual diagnosis. It is a significant concern in Maine. Treating both conditions simultaneously is complex and requires specialized services, which may not be readily available in all areas, especially rural regions.
For individuals seeking treatment in rural areas or those without access to private transportation, the lack of public transportation options in Maine can be a significant hurdle to accessing necessary addiction treatment services.
Stigma and Shame
The stigma surrounding addiction can prevent people from seeking help or disclosing their struggles. This is a barrier to open conversations and obtaining support within families and communities, making it challenging for affected individuals to reach out for assistance.
Maine needs to focus on enhancing access to treatment and support services in rural areas, expanding prevention and education initiatives, and reducing the stigma associated with addiction. Collaborative approaches involving government agencies, healthcare providers, community organizations, and law enforcement can create a more conducive environment to take on the complex issue of substance abuse.
If you need to find addiction treatment services in Maine, call the National Drug Helpline on 1-844-289-0879.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maine Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2021. Available online. Accessed on July 21, 2023.
- SAMHSA. Behavioral Health Barometer Maine. Available online. Accessed on July 21, 2023.
- Maine.gov. Maine’s Aging Economy and the Economy of Aging. Available online. Accessed on July 21, 2023.
Last updated: July 25, 2023