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Maine Opioid Summary

Revised February 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

Maine is among the top ten states with the highest rates of opioid-related overdose deaths. In 2016, there were 301 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Maine—a rate of 25.2 deaths per 100,000 persons and nearly double the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000. Since 2012, the number of deaths attributed to heroin overdose has increased from 12 to 55 in 2016—a more than fourfold increase. Synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths have increased even more dramatically, from 19 to nearly 200 deaths, in the same period. 

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Maine compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 25.2 deaths per 100,000 persons in Maine, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2015, providers in Maine wrote 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (approximately 985,562 prescriptions)—the same as the average national rate (IMS Health, 2016).  

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Maine from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 301 opioid-related overdose deaths: 199 involved synthetic opioids, 55 involved heroin, and 154 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

The incidence of NAS in Maine has increased from 3.0 cases per 1,000 births in 2002 to 30.4 cases per 1,000 in 2013, a more than tenfold increase. The average across 28 states included in the 2013 analysis was 6.0 cases per 1,000 births (CDC, MMWR, 2014).

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, 9.1 percent (3,5941) of the 39,513 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among new cases, 8.2 percent (2,6141) of cases among men and 13.2 percent (980) of cases among women were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2014, 955,081 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 299.5 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 18.1 percent (131,0561) of males and 22.6 percent (52,013) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2015, 45 occurred in Maine, with 14.3 percent of new cases in males and 11.1 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 1,454 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Maine—a rate of 126 infections per 100,000 persons. Of these, 14.9 percent1 of males and 28.7 percent of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, there were 181,871 reported cases of chronic HCV and 33,900 estimated cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Where data were available, 64.2 percent of acute cases reported IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, including approximately 2.7 million living with chronic infections (CDC).
  • State Incidence: In 2015, Maine reported 1,487 cases of chronic HCV and 30 cases of acute HCV at rates of 111.8 cases per 100,000 persons and 2.3 cases per 100,000 persons, respectively. The major risk factor for acute cases in Maine was injection drug use. Twenty cases (67 percent) reported that they injected drugs within 6 months prior to symptom onset (Maine.gov).
  • State Prevalence: In 2013, an estimated 21,000 to 26,000 persons were living with HCV in Maine (Maine.gov).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in Maine: 1

Notes

  1. Includes transmission to individuals with injection drug use as a risk factor.
  2. 2015 estimate after adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting. Data for 2015 were unavailable for Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

This page was last updated February 2018

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