Archive for the ‘Addiction’ Category


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.


HRASM Helps Halfway House Clients Reshape Their Employment Outlook

November 22, 2010

Last month, the clients of our halfway house program were visited by a few caring human resources professionals involved with the Human Resources Association of Southern Maine (HRASM). They came in without judgment and ready to work.

Women from various Portland area companies, including Unum, Portland Public Library, Maine Eye Center and RM Davis, shared their expertise on everything from resume writing, to job searching, to presenting yourself to a potential employer over the course of three very informative educational sessions.

Clients learned how to address tricky subjects like employment gaps or past convictions due to their addiction. They were taught how to reshape their language when presenting themselves in an interview. They created resumes and worked with each other to assess their strengths, weaknesses and how to identify and break the barriers that were keeping them from getting a job.

In the end, both the clients and the human resources professionals were elated with the results of the workshop. Almost immediately, three clients were able to see positive results from the work they completed in the workshop via job leads and actually obtaining employment. The facilitators of the group loved working with the women and were inspired by their positive energy and eagerness to learn.

We are looking forward to continuing this partnership in the future!


Windham Counseling Center is Crossroads for Women’s Newest Outpatient Office

November 5, 2010

This past Monday, Crossroads for Women opened its newest satellite outpatient office, Windham Counseling Center.

The new outpatient office is located at 120 Main Street in Windham Maine and gives women and their families in the Lakes Region area a convenient option for counseling services.

Windham Counseling Center addresses women’s substance abuse and emotional health concerns in a comfortable, safe and confidential environment. Outpatient services include individual counseling, therapy groups and an intensive outpatient program (IOP). Crossroads for Women also offers outpatient services in Portland and Kennebunk.

“Crossroads for Women has run residential programs in Windham since it opened in 1974,” says executive director Barbara Dacri. “It only makes sense for us to expand our outpatient program to the Lakes Region area. Windham Counseling Center will give women west of Portland a more convenient location to find counseling services.”

Crossroads for Women is a private, nonprofit substance abuse and mental health treatment agency that addresses the unique needs of women and their families in both outpatient and residential settings. With facilities in Portland, Kennebunk and Windham, Crossroads for Women offers Maine’s most comprehensive treatment for substance abuse and mental health specialized for women.

For more information on services or to book an appointment, call 207.894.5733 or visit Crossroads for Women’s website.


Innovative residential services model receives grant in Portland, ME area

October 8, 2010

A new and innovative residential substance abuse treatment program model was announced this week at The Recovery Center at Mercy Hospital in Westbrook, Maine.

Mercy, along with its consortium partners Youth Alternatives Ingraham and Crossroads for Women, were awarded a grant of $1,000,000 from the Substance Abuse and Mental  health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to carry out the project..

The project has two main goals:

1. To increase residential level treatment capacity in greater Portland (Maine) for those suffering from alcohol and other substance abuse, via cross-agency collaboration and innovative program design, and;

2. To use the collective power of the consortium to transform the current system of care into a patient-centric, collaborative, and financially sustainable model.

The partnership of the three organizations will provide those in need of substance abuse services, who typically fall through the cracks, access to safe housing, medical care, behavioral health treatment and case management all in one place.

According to Barbara Dacri, executive director at Crossroads for Women, “It is our hope that this consortium can be used as a national model that will ultimately reduce the cost of treating addiction and promote a more client-centered and recovery-oriented approach.”

Read the official press release from Mercy

See the news coverage