A new report bills Maine as the state with the highest rate of addiction to painkillers, with an average of 386 people per 100,000 seeking treatment for addiction compared to the national average of 45 per 100,000, reports this article from the Bangor Daily News. According to the report studying substance abuse treatment services from 1998-2008, Northeastern states have seen the highest rates of medical opiate addiction admissions.
In the article, Guy Cousins, director of the Maine Office of Substance Abuse, compared the availability of prescription drugs to that of alcohol in homes. According to this article in the Boston Herald, 10 to 15 percent of Maine high school students have used narcotic painkillers in the last month. Though Maine has established a voluntary online prescription monitoring program, only about 35 percent of Maine’s licensed prescribers participate in the program.