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Opiate Abuse, Addiction, and Detox in Maine

 

a man shakes an admissions counselors hand at a Portland Maine opiate detox center

Recognition of the opiate crisis in the United States has not been enough to shut down this trend of substance abuse. This reality is contrary to what many people believe. In fact, despite all of the past decade’s news reports about opiate abuse, the number of people who have started using these powerful drugs has remained steady in the past five years.

Like man-made opioids, opiates are extremely potent painkillers. Naturally derived from opium of the poppy plant, these substances include morphine and codeine. They are close relatives to synthesized opioids like heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Many people abuse both opiates and opioids, depending on what they can access more easily at any given time. This is why the terms opiate and opioid are often interchanged and confused.

Overall, the drug categories of opiates and opioids include:
• Codeine
Heroin
• Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
• Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
• Methadone
• Meperidine (Demerol)
• Morphine
Oxycodone (Percocet or Oxycontin)

Sadly, Maine’s citizens are not immune to the lure of opiates. In fact, the drugs’ magnetism seems stronger for Maine citizens than for many others throughout the country, according to recent statistics. Maine is actually a hot spot for opiate abuse and addiction. Luckily, you can also easily find the localized help you need for recovery.

Statistics of Opiate Abuse in Maine

Statistics from SAMHSA about Maine’s opiate abuse include:

• 11.2% of Maine youth aged 12 to 17 years abuse illicit drugs, compared to the national average of 8.2%

• 1.7% of Maine’s young adults aged 18 to 25 suffer an opioid use disorder, trending at a higher rate than the national average of 1.0% for the same age group

• 10.6% of the state’s 18 to 25 year olds suffer from an illicit substance use disorder, which is in contrast to the average of just 7.5% throughout the rest of the country

• 3.8% of Maine’s population over the age of 12 suffers an illicit substance use disorder, including addiction to opiates, in comparison to the national average of 2.9%

Maine’s geographic location is no hindrance to accessing these drugs. That is one of the biggest myths in this drug epidemic. In fact, it is as easy to obtain opiates and opioids here as anywhere else in the country.

Are Opiates Really as Dangerous as People Say?

The opioid epidemic, including opiates like morphine and codeine, is one of the biggest drug problems the U.S. has ever faced. Although much of the news about this issue seems exaggerated, the problem is as big as reports claim.

Across the country, 1.6 million people have abused opiates and opioids since 2019. Of these, 70,630 died from overdoses in 2019. About 745,000 used heroin in 2019, almost 15,000 of whom died. Heroin is one of the common drugs abused by people who prefer opiates and those who prefer opioids.

If you or your loved one abuse opiates or suffer an opiate use disorder, it is critical that you get the help you need. Recovery is possible. You simply need the support and care of an experienced opiate withdrawal detox program in Maine, followed by rehab. This help exists in the state and close to your home. A good example of a rehab and detox center providing a full spectrum of care is Liberty Bay Recovery Center.

Is Opiate Detox and Withdrawal Difficult?

Withdrawal is one of the biggest fears keeping many people from seeking the opiate treatment they need. But if you or someone you love needs rehab to stop abusing drugs and build a better future, fear of withdrawal should not stop you. In fact, in a licensed opiate withdrawal detox program, you can feel safe, secure, and comfortable while your body cleanses itself of your drugs. These programs exist to make the process easier.

Movies and TV shows from the past have depicted the struggles of people going through opiate withdrawal. But over time, medical professionals have learned more about the body’s reaction to stopping drug use. Today, in a quality detox center, clients receive the treatment and support they need to stay comfortable throughout this transition to sobriety. This support is 24/7, around-the-clock care that includes nutritious meals, comfortable surroundings, individual counseling, group therapy, medical supervision, and medications to relieve symptoms.

Medically supervised detox typically includes an array of laboratory tests that provide a clear view of client health and wellness throughout withdrawal. Using the information gained from these tests, support professionals can also help you feel better during detox.

Common medical tests in medically supervised opiate detox include:
• Blood chemistries, such as liver function tests
• Complete blood counts (CBCs)
• Chest X-rays
• Electrocardiogram (ECG) to view heart function
• Disease screenings, such as for HIV, hepatitis C and TB

Going “cold turkey” at home is a big risk. Outside of a licensed facility, you do not have the 24/7 support, medical supervision, and medications you need for successful detox. You also risk a dangerous relapse. Although many families try to help their loved ones get sober at home, they are often left exhausted and overwhelmed. For successful detox, it’s very important that you go through withdrawal in a safe, secure, and supportive environment with all of the services you need.

Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

If you are considering detox, you likely wonder what withdrawal from opiates feels like. It is never an easy process. There is an array of symptoms most people experience. Of course, how your withdrawal feels depends largely on your addiction history, physical makeup, co-occurring medical conditions, and other factors unique to you.

Some opiate withdrawal symptoms include:
• Agitation and anxiety
• Muscle aches and pains
• Tearing eyes, runny nose, and yawning
• Dilated pupils and goosebumps
• Sleeplessness and nightmares
• Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
• Nausea and vomiting

These symptoms start sometime after you last use your drugs, typically within 12 hours. Detox typically lasts seven to 10 days, followed by a comprehensive rehab program. It is in rehab after detox that true recovery begins. Opiate detox is the first step to a better life.

Maine Rehab Treatment Programs

When you detox in a licensed facility, such as Liberty Bay Recovery Center in Maine, you have access to a variety of associated opiate rehab treatment programs. There, treatment professionals assess your addiction history and co-occurring conditions. Then they develop your individualized treatment plan. Your treatment may include one program or several combined programs to form your ideal pathway to successful and long-term recovery.

SAMHSA lists 134 detox and rehab treatment programs in Maine. These include:

Detox

Detox is where you receive around-the-clock support to safely, securely, and comfortably navigate withdrawal. Some detox centers provide medically supervised programs for more comprehensive care that includes medical testing, individualized treatment planning, and medications. In detox facilities, clients often receive their first individual counseling and group therapy to help them forge a path into recovery.

Maine has 13 licensed detox programs and facilities in close proximity to Bridgton, Lewiston, Portland, Rockport, Bangor, and Calais.

Short-Term Inpatient Rehab

Short-term inpatient rehab usually takes place after detox. As part of this rehab program, clients stay within a hospital or medical facility for 24-hour support and treatment.

This treatment usually includes an array of therapies. It can also include screenings for common co-occurring health problems associated with substance abuse, such as hepatitis C, HIV, and mental health disorders. Although an inpatient program usually lasts 30 days or fewer, many clients proceed into step-down treatment afterwards. There are three inpatient rehab programs in Maine, located in Hampden, Rockport, and Lewiston.

Long-Term Residential Rehab

Long-term residential rehab is the most comprehensive level of care you can receive for opiate addiction. As part of these programs, clients live in a rehab facility or associated apartments for 60 days, 90 days or up to a year. During treatment you receive an array of therapies, such as:
• Individual counseling
• Group therapy
• Behavioral therapies
• Dual diagnosis treatment
• Addiction education
• Relapse prevention and life skills education
• Family therapy and couples counseling

There are 16 long-term residential programs in Maine for opiate addiction recovery.

Intensive Outpatient (IOP) Program

Intensive outpatient programs provide many of the same therapies offered in residential rehab. But instead of living at the facility or in associated apartments, you sleep at home and return to the facility each day for treatment.

This level of care enables people with families and other responsibilities to continue managing those while also getting the help they need for opiate recovery. IOP works best for people with a stable and supportive home environment. There are 27 IOP programs in Maine, stretching from York to Houlton and near the most-populated areas.

Outpatient (OP) Program

Outpatient programs are the most flexible level of care for opiate addiction treatment. For many clients, OP is a form of step-down support provided after inpatient or residential rehab. As with IOP programs, OP participants continue living at home while receiving daytime therapies at the rehab facility. It is generally possible to attend OP while maintaining family responsibilities, working, or attending school. This makes opiate rehab accessible to everyone.

There are 120 outpatient opiate rehab programs in Maine. These are located throughout the state and even in areas where few other treatment programs exist, such as Madawaska, Houlton, Lincoln, and Mumford.

Sober Living or Transitional Living

When clients complete an opiate rehab program, they are not left unsupported. As part of optional follow-up plans, sober living homes provide safe environments for starting a sober lifestyle in the community.

A small group of clients in recovery live together in a sober home or other transitional living facility, sharing responsibilities and expenses. During this time, they attend individual counseling, group therapy or a 12-step program. Each individual must also acquire and maintain employment while abstaining from using any drugs or alcohol. Maine offers about eight sober living homes.

Aftercare Programs

Recovery is a lifelong commitment, one that requires continuing attention and support. This is why, as clients prepare to graduate from opiate treatment, they typically discuss personal goals and future plans with rehab support professionals. These professionals then help each individual locate aftercare programs in their home community for long-term and as-needed support close to home.

Your aftercare support may include individual counseling through a local therapist, group therapy programs in a community center, 12-step program participation or occasional trips back to your rehab facility for educational sessions.

Participation in these programs is certainly optional. But having access to ongoing support can make the difference between a difficult journey through relapse or a lasting recovery. There are an unlimited number of these programs in communities throughout the state.

Healthy Recovery From Opiate Addiction Is Possible

In Maine, just as throughout the rest of the United States, opiate addiction is an ongoing epidemic. But you can achieve healthy recovery from these drugs. You merely need the right support and treatment, which can be found in a licensed opiate detox and rehab facility. Start this treatment today by finding a program that aligns with your personal goals.

tland Maine opiate detox center.