Painkiller Addiction in Maine, a Series from the Portland Press Herald

Painkiller addiction has hit the state of Maine hard. Ten years ago, the issue was deemed “the greatest criminal problem and possibly the greatest social problem facing Maine.”

Today, Maine doesn’t seem to be in any better place when it comes to the addiction and abuse of prescription painkiller medication.

The cost of this addiction is high, including more than 1,400 lives from pharmaceutical drug overdoses, not to mention the money it takes to deal with the crime associated with these addictions and treating individuals.

Substance abuse in Maine is now estimated to cost $1.18 billion a year, or $900 for every man, woman and child. Much of that comes from misuse of prescription drugs.

This week, the Portland Press Herald is publishing a 6-part series on this epidemic. Crossroads clinical staff and clients were interviewed for some of the articles. We hope you will take the time to read the series. As a community, Maine needs to address this prescription drug addiction problem before it gets out of hand.