When then-presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke in Manchester, N.H., a week before the 2016 election, he said the opioid crisis was destroying lives and shattering families.

"We are going to stop the inflow of drugs into New Hampshire and into our country 100%," Trump promised.

It was a major campaign issue. Overdoses were surging in battleground states key to the election, like New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

As deaths from opioids are slowing, deaths involving methamphetamine are on the rise. The most recent CDC data shows a 21% increase in deaths involving methamphetamines in one year. Local officials say Maine reflects the national trend, with more deaths and alarming cases. According to his girlfriend, the suspect in the recent brutal attack of a couple in Bridgton was “high” on meth. Last month, a 21-one year old Bangor mother accused of exposing her baby to meth through her breast milk entered a plea deal that involves Maine’s drug court. We learn about the properties of meth, where it is coming from and what it is becoming the latest drug crisis in Maine.

This show is part of Maine Calling’s ongoing focus on substance use in Maine.

Last year, more than 900 babies in Maine were exposed to addictive substances before they were born. We’ll learn how these infants and their mothers are affected and treated, and what lasting effects this growing phenomenon has on society.

Heroin Addiction

Maine Public TV Air Times:
Thur., July 26 at 10:00 pm
Sat., July 28 at 11:00 am

Filmed in Washington County in Winter of 2016, by University of Maine at Machais Downeast Documentary Project, this is a first person look of an epidemic affecting every neighborhood in America.

Sen. Angus King listens to family members of those affected by addiction at Paris Town Hall opioid roundtable.
Office of U.S. Sen. Angus King

Family members of those struggling with addiction met with Sen. Angus King at the Paris Town Hall Monday afternoon to discuss some of the challenges they're facing in rural Maine.

Maine lawmakers heard testimony today on the first of a series of bills to address Maine's drug epidemic.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Lawmakers return to work this week at the State House where one of the big issues they're expected to tackle is Maine's ongoing opiate epidemic. On Tuesday, lawmakers will hear testimony on a bipartisan plan to spend $2.4 million dollars to hire more drug enforcement agents and an equal amount on expanded treatment and recovery. But the plan does not include money for methadone and Suboxone treatment and those on the front lines say that's essential for any strategy to work.

Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — Over the course of 24 hours last weekend, 14 people here overdosed on opiates. Two died. It has prompted the city to launch an outreach campaign to try to reduce overdoses.

Susan Sharon / MPBN

Editor's note: This is Part 4 of our 5-part "State of Withdrawal" series. Click here for the other stories in the series.

This week we've been hearing from doctors and treatment providers about why they object to the state's plan to end MaineCare coverage for about 3,000 methadone patients.

  What causes some people to become addicted to drugs and what are we learning about the best ways to help those in need.

Host Keith Shortall speaks with:

Dr. Christina Holt, a family physician with Maine Medical Center and Research Director for Maine Med’s residency program; among her areas of interest are addiction services and rural health care.

Dr. David Lextercamp, a family practice physician with Seaport Community Health Center; he is also an author.

Heroin Addiction

Feb 11, 2014
Heroin Addiction

  How big of a problem is heroin addiction in Maine and what is the latest of our understanding about how addiction affects the brain?

Host Jennifer Rooks was joined by 

Carolee Lindsey, Director of Services, Catholic Charities 

Brian Townsend, Director of Social Work, Preble Street 

Nick, in treatment

  The American Lung Association recently released a report on the State of Tobacco Control 2014. Our panel will discuss tobacco addiction and what to do about it, and the safety and health effects of e-cigarettes.

Host Keith Shortall was joined by 

Rebecca Hitchcock, nurse practitioner and certified tobacco treatment specialist representing the Partnership for a Tobacco Free ME

Dr. Sheila Pinette, Director of Maine CDC 


Smoking in Maine

Jan 31, 2013

  Tobacco addiction and what to do about it. What resources are available if you want to quit.

Host Irwin Gratz was joined by:

Hilary Schnieder, State Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society

Marla Davis with the American Lung Association of Maine

USM President Theo Kalikow

Portland Press Herald story on Smoking Ban on USM Campus

  Addiction, recovery and the role of the state. Maine has one of the nation's highest rates of opiate addiction. The legislature is considering limiting MaineCare funds used to help addicts in recovery.  What does this mean for patients, the state's budget and how best to address the epidemic?

Host Keith Shortall spoke with: