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The State of Maine has a strategic and evidenced-based focus for confronting the epidemic of substance use disorder throughout the state.

The State of Maine’s annual Strategic Action Plan is designed to address the epidemic of substance use disorder (SUD) with evidence-based strategies that are targeted and tailored for maximum impact in Maine. It is organized around five focus areas, leadership, prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery, which provide the structure for the Maine Drug Data Hub. 1 snapshot metric of each of those five focus areas are located below. Since Executive Order 2, issued two years ago, the Mills administration has taken the following steps as of the beginning of 2021:

  • Purchased and distributed 59,782 doses of naloxone through public health and harm reduction organizations (through December 2020), resulting in 1,231 opioid overdose reversals during 2020. 
  • Recruited and trained 534 recovery coaches.
  • Provided Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to over 500 inmates within the Department of Corrections, while they were incarcerated or linked to community providers upon release.
  • Provided MAT to over 250 individuals with a diagnosis of SUD in county jails.
  • Supported 22 emergency departments in standing up low barrier MAT through which over 500 patients received their first dose of medication in the hospital.
  • Increased the prescribing of buprenorphine for MAT by 43% in the past three years.
  • Increased the number of recovery residences from 101 to 120 in two years.
  • Increased Syringe Access Program sites from 7 to 12.
  • Increased Recovery Centers from 9 to 13 locations.
  • Enhanced prevention efforts, including the Department of Education making available to every school in Maine a pre-K through grade 12 social and emotional learning curriculum know as SEL4ME.
  • Served 295 individuals in Maine’s Adult Drug Courts, Co-Occuring Court and Veterans Courts in 2019, and increase of 11.3% over the previous year.

Focus Area: Leadership

The State of Maine prioritizes decisive, evidence-based and community focused actions in response to Maine’s opioid-crisis. One strategy to identify and access policy interventions is to maximize the collection of actionable data and increase the timeliness of reporting.

The monthly overdose report, which is funded jointly by the Maine Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Behavioral Health, provides an overview of statistics regarding suspected and confirmed fatal and nonfatal overdoses in Maine during each month.

Fatal Drug Overdoses in Maine January – June 2021

Source: Maine Office of the Attorney General and Maine Office of Behavioral Health, Maine Monthly Overdose Report for June 2021.

For more leadership metrics visit the Leadership landing page.

Focus Area: Prevention

The State of Maine prioritizes the prevention of the early use of addictive substances by children, youth, and young adults while reducing the number of prescribed and illicitly obtained opioids by residents of the state.

Law enforcement agencies in Maine address the substance use disorder epidemic by making deadly illegal drugs such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogs less available. They also focus their investigative efforts on removing drug traffickers and dealers from our communities rather than focusing on those suffering from substance-use disorder.

Source: Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Annual Report 2018.

Source: Maine Department of Corrections. Annual Report on Substance Use, 2020.

These efforts combine with those of the Maine Prescription Drug Monitoring Program which aims to reduce the number of pharmaceutical opioids available for misuse.

Source: Maine Office of Behavioral Health, Maine Prescription Monitoring Program 2020 Annual Report.

For more prevention metrics visit the Prevention landing page.

Focus Area: Harm Reduction

The State of Maine prioritizes the reduction in the number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses through the engagement of active users, the recovery community, the public, law enforcement, and providers in harm reduction strategies.

In July of 2019, the state began distributing naloxone through four public health and harm reduction programs across Maine through the Maine Naloxone Distribution Initiative. These entities have reported hundreds of overdoses reversed through the distribution program.

Source: University of Maine, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, Maine Naloxone Distribution Initiative.

This community-based naloxone distribution program, which empowers bystanders to intervene during an overdose emergency, combines with overdose emergency response by public safety officials saving the lives of hundreds of Mainers each month.

Source: Office of the Maine Attorney General and OD MAP provides law enforcement data. Maine EMS provides EMS data. University of Maine, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center provides Maine Naloxone Distribution Initiative data.

For more harm reduction metrics visit the Harm Reduction landing page.

Focus Area: Treatment

The State of Maine prioritizes the availability of treatment that is local, immediate, affordable, and best fit. Since 2018, providers in the state have increased the prescribing of buprenorphine by 43%. Buprenorphine is a medication that treats opioid-use disorder as a medication assisted treatment. It offers several benefits to those with OUD including diminishing the effects of physical dependency to opioids, increasing safety in cases of overdose, and lowering the potential for misuse.

Source: Maine Office of Behavioral Health, Maine Prescription Monitoring Program 2020 Annual Report.

For more treatment metrics visit the Treatment landing page.

Focus Area: Recovery

The State of Maine prioritizes supporting individuals in recovery and building recovery-ready communities throughout the state. In Maine, drug treatment courts are special programs that utilize intensive judicial monitoring; specialized treatment, frequent and random drug testing, case management services, alongside other needed services including housing, employment, and health care. Combining these services, treatment courts reduce recidivism and substance misuse and increase the likelihood of rehabilitation and recovery. Clients are referred to the program by defense attorneys, district attorneys, judges, jail staff, family members, and themselves. Successful clients participate for a minimum of one year, at the end of which they will complete an agreed upon sentence. Any jail time is typically served prior to beginning the program. 

For more recovery metrics visit the Recovery landing page.

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