The Opioid and Heroin Epidemic in Portland
In 2017, 418 people died in Maine from an opioid overdose. Out of all fatal overdoses in Maine in 2017, 109 occurred in Cumberland County, and 57 took place in Portland. Most people who have lost their lives to opioids in Portland were simultaneously using more than one drug. Oftentimes they were using multiple different types of opioids, which were usually non-prescribed and illegally manufactured. Many people in Portland who develop an addiction to opioids eventually begin using heroin. In 2017, overdosing on heroin killed 88 people in Maine. The use of heroin by itself poses a serious risk to anyone’s life, but drug traffickers in Portland often sell fentanyl disguised as heroin or heroin laced with fentanyl, which is even more likely than heroin to cause death.
Methamphetamine Use Is On the Rise
Methamphetamine is illegal in Maine and highly addictive. Unfortunately, the use of meth is becoming increasingly common in Portland and throughout the rest of the state. In fact, many people died in Maine in 2016 and 2017 after overdosing on meth combined with opioids or heroin, and the number of meth labs in Maine, several of which were found in Portland, more than doubled from 2015 to 2016.
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From 2015 to 2016, the number of deaths in Maine which involved cocaine increased from 35 to 60. Many people who overdose on cocaine often use the drug along with at least one other dangerous substance, such as heroin. A large market for cocaine has developed in Portland and police regularly arrest drug traffickers carrying large quantities of cocaine in Cumberland County. In 2018, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency confiscated over one pound of cocaine in Portland worth $50,000.
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Portland is a beautiful and vibrant city, but there are many Portland residents who are dependent on drugs. Opioids, methamphetamine, and cocaine destroy lives, but with the right support, anyone can overcome addiction. If you’re struggling with addiction to drugs, there are recovery centers in Portland and in Maine where you can detox, get therapy and counseling, and set yourself on the path to sobriety. If you’re ready to reclaim your life from addiction, contact a dedicated treatment provider today.