Maine Overdose Death Rates & Other Statistics
In 2022, Maine reported 10,110 overdoses, including 716 suspected or confirmed deaths. However, the survival rate for overdoses has risen to 93%, thanks to measures taken by the government and community treatment agencies to equip and educate the public on preventing overdose deaths. Though overdose deaths have negatively impacted the state, the higher survival rate shows that Maine’s efforts to combat addiction are having an impact.
Overall, Maine has progressed in addressing addiction and its impacts on individuals and the community. However, there is still work to be done to reduce drug use and related harms and to provide effective treatment and support for those struggling with addiction.
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) also reports that the state has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic, with overdose deaths increasing sharply in recent years. In 2019, there were 380 drug overdose deaths in Maine, representing a rate of 27.7 deaths per 100,000 population, which is higher than the national average. The majority of these deaths involved opioids.
Where in Maine Do People Utilize Drugs & Alcohol the Most?
Factors like population density, poverty, and access to illicit substances like fentanyl influence Maine drug use and overdose rates. These issues have been spread throughout the state but are most heavily concentrated in Cumberland County. In 2017, Cumberland County had the highest drug overdose deaths, accounting for 26% of all overdose deaths in Maine. Of these deaths, 57 occurred in Portland.
The concentration of drug-related issues in Cumberland County is likely due to its higher population density and greater access to illicit drugs. Poverty may also play a role, as individuals living in poverty may be more likely to turn to drugs as a coping mechanism. Fentanyl, in particular, has been a major concern in Maine, as it is a powerful opioid that can be lethal in small amounts.
Efforts have been made to address the opioid epidemic in Cumberland County and throughout Maine. These include increasing access to addiction treatment and recovery services, expanding the availability of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, and implementing harm reduction strategies like needle exchange programs. However, much work must be done to address the state’s root causes of drug abuse and overdose.
Yearly Economic Costs of Substance Abuse & Related Disorders in Maine
Substance use in Maine has a significant economic impact on both businesses and residents alike. Incarceration, mortality, and treatment are just a few categories that contribute to the economic burden. As a result, Maine residents have undoubtedly felt the weight of this issue. Recent estimates indicate that substance abuse and its related effects cost Maine approximately $1.403 billion annually. This means that each Maine resident is paying an average of $1,057.
The financial impact of substance abuse on Maine is staggering, with costs stemming from various factors. For example, drug-related crime alone costs Maine $343.4 million annually. In addition, healthcare costs related to substance abuse, including emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and treatment, can also add up quickly. The economic impact is not limited to individuals, as businesses may experience lost productivity, increased healthcare costs for employees, and higher insurance premiums.
Despite these high costs, efforts are being made to address substance abuse in Maine. This includes increasing access to addiction treatment and recovery services, implementing harm reduction strategies, and improving public education on the dangers of substance abuse. By taking a comprehensive approach to the issue, it is hoped that the economic impact of substance abuse in Maine can be reduced, leading to a healthier and more prosperous state for all residents.