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Maine Drug Threat Assessment Update

Maine Drug Threat Assessment Update.Publication Date: August 2003

Document ID: 2003-S0377ME-001

Available Maine Assessments
   2003 Update: August 2003
2002 Update: April 2002
Original: April 2001

Archived on:  January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.

This report is a brief update to the Maine Drug Threat Assessment, which is a strategic assessment of the status and outlook of the drug threat to Maine. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data. NDIC anticipates that this update will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels. 

The April 2002  Maine Drug Threat Assessment Update and April 2001 Maine Drug Threat Assessment are available on NDIC's web site or by contacting the NDIC dissemination line at 814-532-4541.

Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time.  Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
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Diverted Pharmaceuticals



Other Dangerous Drugs




List of Tables 

Table 1. Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions, SFY2000-SFY2002



Map of Maine showing major transportation routes.

The distribution and abuse of illicit drugs and diverted pharmaceuticals pose a serious threat to Maine. Most illicit drugs available in the state are transported into Maine from Lowell and Lawrence, Massachusetts. Illicit drugs also are transported from other cities in Massachusetts as well as from New York City, Florida, southwestern states, the West Coast, and Canada. Private and rental vehicles are the primary conveyances used to transport drugs into Maine. Commercial vehicles and couriers on buses, commercial aircraft, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), and on foot as well as package delivery services are used to transport illicit drugs into the state, albeit to a lesser extent. Most of the illicit drugs transported into Maine are abused within the state and not transshipped to other locations.

Heroin, primarily South American heroin, poses a serious drug threat to Maine. While diverted pharmaceuticals (primarily OxyContin, Dilaudid and, increasingly, methadone) pose almost as serious a threat, drug treatment providers in Maine project that the heroin treatment admissions will soon eclipse those of diverted pharmaceuticals. The number of treatment admissions for heroin abuse increased 106 percent from state fiscal year (SFY) 2000 to SFY2002. (In Maine the state fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.) The number of treatment admissions for other opiates and synthetics (excluding heroin) increased 80 percent from SFY2000 to SFY2002. (See Table 1.) In addition, the mortality rate for pharmaceutical abuse is high, accounting for 63 percent of accidental drug overdose deaths in Maine from 1997 through 2002. Further, there has been an increase in the number of thefts and burglaries related to prescription opiate abuse in the state.

Table 1. Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions, SFY2000-SFY2002
  Heroin Other Opiates & Synthetics Cocaine Marijuana Metham-
SFY2000 396     571 255 1,251 30
SFY2001 507    760 276 1,462 17
SFY2002 816 1,030 297 1,596 20
Change (SFY2000
  106%        80%     16%         28%  -33%

Source: Maine Office of Substance Abuse.

Cocaine, both powdered and crack, also poses a serious threat to Maine. The drug is readily available in Maine's larger cities and towns, increasingly available in rural areas, and often associated with violent crime. Marijuana is widely available and commonly abused in Maine. The availability and abuse of other dangerous drugs, principally MDMA, pose an increasing threat to the state. Methamphetamine production, distribution, and abuse pose a low threat to Maine.


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