Treatment

The State of Maine is committed to ensure the availability of treatment that is local, immediate, affordable, and the best fit for the individual. The goal is to increase the proportion of Mainers with substance-use disorder who seek treatment and are in treatment. This includes breaking down structural and systemic barriers to treatment as well as ensuring access to treatment via telehealth options during the COVID-19 pandemic.


It is estimated that 8.64% of Mainers above the age of twelve suffer from substance-use disorder.

This metric tracks the estimated percentage of Mainers above the age of twelve that suffer from substance-use disorder. It tracks data both at the state and substate level. This metric is an indicator of the need for substance-use disorder treatment. The following table, generated from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), provides estimates of substance-use disorder in the non-institutionalized, civilian population of Maine over the age twelve. The data are annual averages based on 2016, 2017, and 2018 NSDUHs. For full data visit the National Survey on Drug Use and Health website. Substance-use disorder is defined as meeting criteria for illicit drug or alcohol dependence or misuse. It is based on definitions found in the DSM-IV.

State/Substate RegionEstimated %95% Confidence
Interval (lower)
95% Confidence
Interval (upper)
Maine8.64%7.50%9.94%
Aroostook (Aroostook)7.53%5.59%10.07%
Central (Kennebec, Somerset)8.22%6.37%10.55%
Cumberland (Cumberland)8.71%6.90%10.94%
Downeast (Washington, Hancock)8.08%5.99%10.81%
Midcoast (Lincoln, Knox, Sagadahoc, Waldo)8.43%6.50%10.87%
Penquis (Penobscot, Piscataquis)8.39%6.51%10.75%
Western (Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford)9.79%7.77%12.26%
York (York)8.82%6.88%11.23%
Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

The number of Mainers receiving treatment for substance-use disorder has been steadily increasing.

Since 2015, the number of MaineCare claims submitted for substance-use disorder treatment has increased. Opioids and alcohol represent a preponderance of the primary reason that individuals seek treatment. In 2019, cocaine and other stimulants emerged as a third major cause for individuals to seek treatment.

This metric track MaineCare claims for substance-use disorder treatment in the State of Maine by substance. This metric is an indicator of individuals linked to care as well as the substances involved in treatment claims. The data is provided by the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) The data is updated annually. The data also includes substance-use disorder treatment funded through OBH grant programs. It does not include treatment claims for private insurance or private-paid treatment.

20152016201720182019
Alcohol1,7352,0481,7741,9042,805
Amphetamines353000
Cannibas427679539517488
Cocaine194174250252412
Drug-Induced Mental Disorders616000
Hallucinogens9231039
Inhalants14880
Nicotine289518821
Opioids8,18111,84511,11811,20815,704
Other Drugs/Unknown41162000
Other Stimulants156774117348
Psychoactive Substances/Multiple120358200152206
Sedatives/hypnotics/anxiolytics/tranquilizers/barbituates4753777268
Total13,27917,43316,08516,25922,080
Source: Office of Behavioral Health, Substance use disorder treatment trends.

Source: Office of Behavioral Health, Substance use disorder treatment trends.


Providers in the State of Maine have increased the prescribing of buprenorphine by 43% in the past three years.

Buprenorphine is a medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid use disorder as a medication assisted treatment. Buprenorphine 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.

This metric is an indicator of linkages to treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder. This data is provided by the Office of Behavioral Health. It is updated monthly.

Source: Maine Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Please note data for most recent month is provisional and will be finalized as more complete data becomes available.


Despite an increase in treatment claims, many Mainers with substance-use disorder do not receive needed treatment.

This metric tracks the estimated percentage of Mainers with substance-use disorder that did not receive treatment but met the criteria for prescription or non-prescription drug dependence as identified in the DSM-IV. Individuals may not receive treatment due to a lack of personal or State resources or because they did not seek treatment. This metric tracks the additional need for substance-use treatment access. The following table, generated from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), provides estimates of individuals needing treatment for substance-use disorder but who did not receive it in the non-institutionalized, civilian population of Maine over the age twelve. The data are annual averages based on 2016, 2017, and 2018 NSDUHs. For full data visit the National Survey on Drug Use and Health website.

State/Substate RegionEstimated %95% Confidence
Interval (lower)
95% Confidence
Interval (upper)
Maine8.04%7.00%9.22%
Aroostook (Aroostook)6.98%5.19%9.32%
Central (Kennebec, Somerset)7.83%5.95%10.24%
Cumberland (Cumberland)8.30%6.58%10.41%
Downeast (Washington, Hancock)7.35%5.49%9.78%
Midcoast (Lincoln, Knox, Sagadahoc, Waldo)7.76%5.91%10.11%
Penquis (Penobscot, Piscataquis)8.04%6.25%10.28%
Western (Androscoggin, Franklin, Oxford)8.78%6.88%11.15%
York (York)8.02%6.12%10.43%
Source: SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

In July 2019, the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) began treating opioid-use disorder with Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).

Identifying that substance-use disorder was common among Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) clients and understanding that people incarcerated have a greater risk of fatal and nonfatal overdoses after release, are more likely to be re-incarcerated, and, if they are injection drug users, are at a higher risk of acquiring or transmitting bloodborne diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis C, Maine DOC launched a pilot medication-assisted treatment program in July 2019.

This metric tracks the number of incarcerated individuals in Maine Department of Corrections prisons that completed MAT, the percent of Maine DOC clients that attended their first community treatment program appoint after they were released from prison, and the percent of clients who were enrolled in the Maine DOC MAT programs that received naloxone upon release.

This metric is an indicator of individuals linked to treatment and to naloxone who are at a high-risk of opioid overdose. This data is provided by the Maine Department of Corrections. The data is updated annually. For detailed annual reports visit the Maine Department of Corrections’ Reports & Statistics website.

Clients served by MDOC’s MAT pilot program2019
Number completing MAT while incarcerated115
Percent attending community treatment post-incarceration84%
Percent released from DOC MAT programs receiving naloxone100%
Source: Maine Department of Corrections, Medication-Assisted Treatment Pilot. Evaluation Report, 2020.
Clients served by MDOC’s MAT program 2020MaleFemaleTotal
Number of residents admitted into MDOC institutions assessed as having substance use treatment need(76%) 554(86%)59 613
Number of residents transitioned to the community with a community treatment provider44290532
Number active in treatment in a correctional facility at the end of 202016917186
Percent released from DOC MAT programs receiving naloxone100%100%100%
Source: Maine Department of Corrections, Year End MDOC Adult Data Report, 2020.

Maine Department of Corrections has increased the amount of substance-use education and prevention programs completed by clients.

Since 2015, enrollment and successful completion of substance-use programming has increased by men and women who are incarcerated. Examples of these programs include relapse prevention, living in balance, and medication-assisted treatment among others.

This metric tracks the number of substance-use programs that are completed by Maine Department of Corrections clients. This metric is an indicator of linkages to substance-use treatment and substance-use education for individuals at high-risk of overdose. This data is provided by the Maine Department of Corrections. The data is updated annually. For detailed annual reports visit the Maine Department of Corrections’ Reports & Statistics website.

Source: Maine Department of Corrections, 2020 Year End MDOC Adult Data Report, 2021.

The number of substance-affected infants born in Maine is trending downwards

The number of babies born drug exposed/affected peaked in 2016 and began trending downward in 2017. However, in 2020 the number of babies born substance exposed/affected returned to 2018 levels, perhaps due to random variation. In 4 of Maine’s 16 counties the number of babies born drug exposed/affected exceeded 14% which is nearly double the state average of 7.7%: Somerset (16.5%) Aroostook (15.2%), Androscoggin (14.4%), and Oxford (14.3%). By contrast several counties have rates nearly half the average of 7.7% of substance exposed/affected babies born including: Cumberland(2.6%), York(3.9%), and Sagadahoc (4.0%).

The State of Maine promotes evidence-based approaches to supporting substance-affected infants during the newborn hospitalization, including the use of Eat, Sleep, Console, and Snuggle ME guidelines and is dedicated to ensuring that all substance-exposed infants have a Plan of Safe Care.

This metric tracks babies born exposed or affected by both illicit and prescribed medications. For example, pregnant women may be enrolled in a Medication-Assisted Treatment program and prescribed Methadone or Buprenorphine for substance-use disorder. Babies experiencing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome may be inpatient or outpatient and can be treated with either pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic therapies.

This metrics tracks the number and percent of babies born exposed/affected to substances in Maine. This metric is an indicator of parental substance-use disorder which is often a causative factor in families being involved in the child protective system. This data is provided by the Office of Child and Family Services. The data is updated annually.

Number and Percentage of Babies Born Exposed/Affected to Substances in Maine, 2020

Source: Office of Child and Family Services.


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