Maine Methamphetamine Prevention Project
What is the Maine Methamphetamine Prevention Project?
Maine’s Methamphetamine Prevention Project is an education effort designed to:
- Increase awareness about the harm associated with methamphetamine production and use.
- Increase capacity of key institutions and community members to prevent the production and use of methamphetamine in Maine.
What is the Current Status of Methamphetamine in Maine?
While methamphetamine is still a large problem in parts of the U.S., Maine has taken a proactive approach in preventing the spread of methamphetamine use. Maine arrest, lab seizure and treatment data indicate that Maine has been able to prevent the widespread devastation due to methamphetamine that has occurred in other states.
The Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (MDEA) reports that methamphetamine can be manufactured anywhere in Maine, from extreme rural areas such as the Allagash to Maine’s small towns and the urban communities of Lewiston, Portland and Bangor. Maine's close proximity to Canada has been found to contribute to easy trafficking of the substances used in the manufacture of meth, and increasingly meth in pill form.
Most methamphetamine in Maine is made by mixing ingredients in containers like 20 ounce plastic soda bottles, known as “one pot” or “shake and bake” labs. Because this method is portable, producers often discard plastic bottles that may contain toxic or flammable chemicals on the side of the road. One pot labs can be located anywhere. If you find a discarded plastic bottle that contains an unknown substance, do not pick it up or open it. Call your local police or sheriff about the possible danger.
In 2012 there were 11 methamphetamine incidents in Maine, with 6 of those occurring in Aroostook County. Methamphetamine lab investigations can cost over $15,000 each to pay for MDEA teams, chemical protective gear, and hazmat teams from the Department of Environmental Protection. Local municipal costs for police, fire and EMTs as well as cleanup costs to the homeowner or property owner can cost additional thousands of dollars.
Other states found that the most effective method of reducing the number of home labs is to restrict the sale of the key ingredient, pseudoephedrine. The Federal Combat Meth Act places restrictions on products containing pseudoephedrine, and since 2005 Maine law has restricted the sale of this precursor ingredient to pharmacies only. A 2011 Maine law increased potential penalties for possession and trafficking of specific quantities of Methamphetamine and Amphetamine tablets.
If you suspect methamphetamine related activity always put your own safety first. Leave the scene immediately and contact your local police or sheriff for assistance.