Auburn Drug Rehabilitation

The Auburn area was originally part of the Pejepscot Purchase from 1714. However 21 years later the Massachusetts General Court gave a large section of it to veterans of the 1690 Battle of Quebec. This caused a delay in settlement due to conflicting claims to the land resulting in prolonged litigation.

It wasn’t until 1786 that Auburn was settled, it was first part of Bakerstown and later renamed Poland in 1795, then Minot in 1802 and finally, 40 years later, was incorporated as Auburn. It got its name from a 1770 poem by Oliver Goldsmith, “The Deserted Village”, where Goldsmith describes a village named Auburn:

“Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain;

Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,

Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,

And parting summer’s lingering blooms delayed”

Over the years Auburn went through various dominating industries, with the shoe industry being one of the more notable ones. In the late 19th century the shoe manufacturing industry became so dominant in the city that the City Seal showed a spindle with different types of shoes at each outside point. Then in 1937 one of the largest labor disputes in Maine’s history occurred in Auburn and Lewiston. A strike in the shoemaking industry was held that lasted from march to June and involved as much as 5 thousand workers on strike. It got so big that at one point the Governor sent in the Maine Army National Guard to stop it and some of the labor leaders were imprisoned for months after an injunction was issued to end the strike.

Methadone Debate in Maine Questions Addiction Treatment Methods:

A debate between lawmakers in Maine is ongoing right now. They are discussing whether or not MaineCare, the low income health insurance for Mainers, will continue to cover the cost of drug treatment programs that use methadone as treatment.

Methadone is a heavy and addictive drug itself and use of it to treat drug addiction could be nothing more than swapping out addictions. The history of methadone actually goes all the way back to the 1850’s in California. This is when the opium problem came to the US, the drug spread fast and hard and was responsible for some of the very first anti drug laws in the United States.

Looking for a solution to the problem, a new wonder drug was released and marketed as a non addictive solution to opium, this was morphine. As fast as it was given out to the public, it was also found to be highly addictive and so a new solution was developed and imported into the US from Germany, this new wonder drug was also marketed as non addictive, this was heroin. As we all know by now, this too was found to be highly addictive and brought on a problem worse than opium or morphine.

Looking to drugs once more, methadone was created as the solution to heroin addiction and despite its addictiveness and risks of overdose, it is still used as a form of treatment today.

Now people like Dr. Kevin Flanigan, medical director for MaineCare, believe that Maine can do better and that this system is outdated and it is time for an improvement. Other options outside of dangerous drugs need to be looked into for the treatment of drug addiction.

Program that Alerts Doctors to Patients with Drug Arrests may be Lost:

Currently Maine has a program in place that help doctors identify potential drug seekers among their patients. The program is now at risk of elimination due to no more funding.

The program is called the Diversion Alert Program and it gives a secure online portal for healthcare providers to access drug arrest data so they can identify patients who may be at risk of overdosing, need addiction treatment instead of more drugs or who may be selling the drugs on the streets. The program was established in 2009 in Aroostook County and then expanded to statewide in 2013 with a two year grant to fund it.

So far the program has been being run in a very minimal way to stay within their $95 thousand annual budget. Knowing that the funding is about to run out from the 2 year grant, Clare Desrosiers, who runs the program, has been applied for 10 grants to fund the program further but had not had any success yet. She feels that it is a rough time to apply for grants right now and that there is not a lot of money out there to be approved for.

Even with this program, drug seekers and drug dealers are able to obtain potent and addictive drugs from doctors. If this program were to be discontinued those numbers could be at risk of increasing. This could result in more addicts, more overdoses, more deaths and more supply being sold on the street by drug dealers.

Although there is no guarantee that someone with a prior conviction will be a repeat offender, after all many many people do go clean after being released from prison, this has so far proven to be a good way to minimally give the prescribing doctor more information on his patient before giving him a prescription for a dangerous and addictive drug.

Auburn Recovery Options:

Auburn has three drug rehab centers listed for the treatment of drugs and alcohol. While one of them is outpatient care only. The other two have residential long term stay and halfway home / sober living home options.

There is strong statistical evidence that inpatient care programs have a much higher success rate than outpatient care programs. This is in part due to the addict not having to go back home each night to the same people and places that he did while he was abusing drugs. Many times it was the stress of his everyday life that lead him to drugs to begin with. By removing him from this environment he is able to overcome his addiction and even learn new ways to deal with the stress so that when he comes back home he is less likely to relapse.


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