Women and Substance Abuse has Moved

February 28, 2011

Thanks for visiting Crossroads for Women‘s blog, Women and Substance Abuse. We have moved the blog to a new address so that we can provide you even better articles and information on addiction, treatment and recovery for women and their families.

You can find the same great content at www.crossroadsforwomen.org/blog. Please join in the conversation at our new address!


Pillowcase Challenge Inspires Donation

January 11, 2011

Crossroads for Women received a call the other day from the president of a local quilters guild in Standish, Maine. She had 14 beautifully handmade pillowcases that she wanted to donate to our halfway house. Since Crossroads maintains two 24-hour residential substance abuse treatment facilities for women, we are always in need of bed linens.

The inspiration for the donation was pretty cool. It was part of a 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge from American Patchwork & Quilting. According to the website, the simple idea is to make and donate pillowcases to local charities in your community. As I write this, there have been 234,627 pillowcases donated so far.

In addition to Crossroads for Women, the local quilters guild also donated pillowcases to other women’s residential facilities in the area. Like us, I’m sure they are always in need of pillowcases and other linens and have a very low budget for such items.

The best part is that the quilters had so much fun making the pillowcases that they’re planning on making more for us.

It’s amazing what a big impact a simple idea can make on a community.


Maine’s addiction to painkillers

January 6, 2011

The amount of substance abuse treatment admissions for prescription pain reliever abuse* rose sharply – from 2.2% to 9.8% – between 1998 and 2008, a federal report recently showed us. And Maine made the very top of the list for having the highest percentage of residents being treated for painkiller addiction.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) report, 386 of every 100,000 residents age 12 or older were admitted for treatment of painkiller addiction in Maine in 2008 – more than eight times the national rate of 45 per 100,000 people.

It is interesting to note that the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) showed that pain reliever abuse increased about the same across all educational level and employment status categories. Women have shown higher percentages of pain reliever abuse, rising from 3.5% in 1998 to 13.3% in 2008. Men increased from 1.8% to 8.1% over the same period. Crossroads for Women has seen a steady increase in admissions for addiction to prescription drugs over the years, coming in second only to alcohol as clients’ primary drug of choice.

There has been some discussion this past week over why Maine is at the top of the painkiller treatment list in the media, online and amongst treatment professionals. In a Portland Press Herald article, Dr. Mark Publicker, an addiction medicine specialist at Mercy Recovery Center, talks about how the states with the higher rates of addiction are also the markets where OxyContin was first introduced. Some of the themes we have heard here at Crossroads include increased accessibility of prescription painkillers like OxyContin (both on the street and from doctors), the myth that “if a doctor prescribed it then it must be good for me” and the lack of money available for prevention and treatment of prescription drug abuse within the state of Maine.

Why do you think Maine tops the list for treatment for painkiller addiction? We’d love to hear from you.

Maine plagued by painkiller habit (Portland Press Herald article)
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Involving Abuse of Pain Relievers: 1998 and 2008 (study)
New study shows dramatic shifts in substance abuse treatment admissions among the states between 1998 and 2008 (SAMSHA press release)

*According to the study, prescription pain relievers refer to drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and other drugs with morphine-like effects; heroin and nonprescription methadone were excluded from the study.


Help Women Remember who They Wanted to be.

December 15, 2010

Beth struggled with alcoholism, bipolar disorder and other mental health troubles after leaving her corporate job. As Beth recalls, her life was filled with depression and a series of relapses that almost took her life.

Until she saw an advertisement in a local paper for Crossroads for Women™ that reminded her to remember who she wanted to be.

Are you inspired by our blog and the work that we do here in Maine? Are you willing to donate to Crossroads for Women this year so that we can help more women like Beth?

Beth has been a client at Kennebunk Counseling Center for more than a year now. For Beth, attending the intensive outpatient program (IOP), individual counseling sessions and receiving medication management services in one place has been “a beneficial and lifesaving experience.”

Crossroads for Women™ has managed to thrive in an otherwise gloomy economy. As a reader of our blog, you may have read about our successes throughout the year. Our board of directors and senior management team has worked together to trim excess costs, focusing on maintaining the high quality programs that help women like Beth remember who they wanted to be.

Crossroads for Women™ remains successful because we are always looking at the future of treatment. We hope that you will support our efforts, because we can’t do it without you.

We ask you to go to our secure donation site or simply send a check to Crossroads for Women™, attn: Lisa Merrill, 66 Pearl Street, Suite 326, Portland, ME 04101.

Thank you for your continued support by simply reading this blog!

Crossroads for Women is where you would send your mother, sister or daughter for outpatient or residential treatment for substance abuse and mental health so she can remember who she wanted to be. Your contribution will directly affect women, their families and the community around them and is tax deductible.