Addiction Problems

There's no denying it or avoiding it, and it can be tough and depressing to talk about, but sometimes you just need to lay it all out on the line -- we still have, and have for a long time now, a massive addiction problem in the country.

Whether it's alcohol, pills, powders, needles -- regardless of what the drug is, whatever you decide to call it -- the opioid epidemic, addiction issues, drug problems -- it's hand a stronghold over a lot of us for a long time.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

War on Drugs

According to Britannica, the War on Drugs has been going on for over 50 years, first introduced in the '70s by President Nixon as a way for the United States to combat illegal drug use.

Unfortunately, that drug use has extended way beyond illegal substances and addiction can often be linked to and triggered by legal, prescription drugs that patients become overdependent on -- to the fact that many times when filling those legal prescriptions, pharmacies hand out free Narcan as well.

Drugs in Maine

According to a May 2023 WalletHub study, amongst other states in the country, Maine runs about middle of the pack when it comes to states with the biggest drug problems, ranking #23 in the country.

Unfortunately, that problem seems to be getting worse based on information provided by WGME reporter Johnny Maffei, who was given stats by the Portland, Maine, Police that there have been over 500 overdoses in each of the last two years, and Narcan is administered almost daily.

For comparison, the CDC reported there were 611 drug-related deaths overall in Maine back in 2021, just 84 people more than Portland's number alone in 2023.

Maine Drug Rehabs

According to a recent study by addiction treatment specialists at The Freedom Center, although Maine only (which feels really weird to say) runs middle of the pack amongst states with the biggest drug issues, it tops the list of states in the country offering the best drug rehabilitation.

Photo by Grav on Unsplash / Photo by Transly Translation Agency on Unsplash
Photo by Grav on Unsplash / Photo by Transly Translation Agency on Unsplash

The Freedom Center used the amount of substance abuse facilities in each state as of 2023 combined with the amount of money spent by each state on mental health in 2023, and rolled that into a cumulative score, which ranked Maine as #1 (with 148 total facilities and almost $482 million spent on mental health.)

And while it's truly amazing that there is so much help in Maine to battle addiction and give struggling Mainers hope, it's also heartbreaking that so many facilities and money spent on mental health are needed.

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