There is a stigma attached to heroin use and users are often perceived as undesirables.
Facts show that, although heroin use is a serious problem in Maine, many users were once productive members of the community and have been caught in a cycle of addiction with few alternatives. The state is working to alleviate some of the obstacles faced by those addicted to opioids.
1.Maine ranked first in the nation for long-term opioid prescriptions in 2014. Prescription pills are considered a gateway drug to heroin. In 2015, there were 272 deaths in Maine attributed to opioid use. 268 of those deaths were due to heroin, fentanyl and pharmaceutical opioids.
2.Doctors in Maine prescribed 100 million opioid pills in 2015, an increase of 20 million from 2014. Due to new laws, doctors in Maine are now faced with prescribing limitations, including the number of pills, how they are prescribed, and the strength of the medication.
3.Last year 1,300 lives were saved in Maine by the use of Narcan, an antidote to opioid overdose. By the end of 2017, residents of Maine will be able to get Narcan at a pharmacy and be trained on proper use.
4.Maine will spend $76 million this fiscal year for the treatment and prevention of opioid addiction. The state has approved $3. 7 million for measures such as additional agents for the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, expansion of drug treatment programs, and a detoxification center.
5.In 2015, drug agents in Maine arrested 265 heroin users, a 200 percent increase from 2012. Most heroin users begin with legally prescribed pain pills and are already addicted when doctors cut off their supply. Heroin is cheaper and easier to find.
If you are arrested for a crime involving heroin, Portland Maine criminal defense lawyer, Richard S. Berne, can help. He will explain the process and all options available, including the recognition of “addiction” as a possible mitigating factor that may lead to a less onerous result. He will use a common sense approach tailored specifically to your individual needs and work to achieve the best result possible. Call Richard S. Berne, criminal defense attorney in Portland, Maine for a consultation today.