Maine CDC Press Release

November 30, 2017

Maine CDC Highlights the Importance of National Methamphetamine Awareness Day

AUGUSTA – The State of Maine Methamphetamine Taskforce has convened to release updated methamphetamine prevention materials in conjunction with National Methamphetamine Awareness Day, which is November 30.

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive and toxic stimulant produced from pseudoephedrine combined with other common household chemicals. A location in which an individual is making methamphetamine for personal use or to sell is often referred to as a "lab." As of September 30, 2017, the number of methamphetamine lab incidents in Maine was 45 -- a decrease from the 107 identified during the corresponding period in 2016. Lab incidents include a "one pot" home lab in which the dangerous ingredients are combined in a single container or an occasion when law enforcement officials were called to a site where methamphetamine had been produced. Labs create public risk because of the dangerous chemical byproducts used in making methamphetamine.

Roy McKinney, director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), noted the decline in lab incidents is most likely due to increased trafficking of manufactured methamphetamine from outside of the state -- stating that this is "something we all need to be concerned about." In 2017, lab incidents have occurred in eight counties, with Penobscot representing the largest number.

"Methamphetamine use has a profound impact on not only the user, but also family, friends, and the community," said Dr. Bruce Bates, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Methamphetamine and other drug use can have serious consequences including child abuse and neglect, criminal behavior, paranoia and unsafe home environments. Methamphetamine labs present serious potential for explosions, exposure to dangerous chemicals and environmental contamination."

Methamphetamine prevention efforts have included policy changes to protect children, education for retailers, landlords, other property owners and community members; and law enforcement training on recognizing and addressing methamphetamine production and use in Maine homes. In 2005, by an act of legislation, pseudoephedrine was removed from pharmacy shelves and some pharmacies elected to stop selling pseudoephedrine altogether.

Methamphetamine use and processing can affect the safety and well-being of Maine citizens. If you or someone you know needs help for methamphetamine or other substance use, dial 2-1-1 for resources and support. You may also visit www.211Maine.org. If you see something suspicious, please report it to your local police department. Find out more about methamphetamine and what you can do to help at www.preventionforme.org