Located in Cumberland County, Maine, with a population of 25 thousand, South Portland is the fourth largest city in the state. Located on Portland Harbor, South Portland is known for its working waterfront.
The waterfront has been a major part of South Portland's history. On this waterfront is where Fort Preble was first built in 1808 wot protect the harbor. This fort was in operation during several American wars including the United States Civil War, World War I and World War II. In 1940 the Todd Bath Iron Shipbuilding Corp built ships there for Britain. Then when the US entered into World War II, the shipyard expanded its operations to include the South Portland Shipbuilding Corp. which merged with Todd Bath to become the New England Shipbuilding Corporation. Together they build over 10 percent of all Liberty ships that were constructed during the war.
Today the city's waterfront is still in use. The Portland Montreal Pipe Line brings millions of barrels of oil to South Portland each year, one of the largest contributors to the inbound tonnage that enters the Port of Portland.
But the city's economy does not solely rely on the ports. There is a very diverse economy across the city including large retails centers and Rigby Yard, the largest railroad yard in New England that was built in 1922 and is still in operations today. The Maine Mall is the largest and busiest mall in the entire state and attracts thousands of shoppers per year.
Two South Portland Teens Hospitalized in Drug Deal Gone Wrong:
In March police arrested two young adults for the assault and attempted murder of two South Portland residents. South Portland Police said this about the incident:
“This was not a random act. Based upon the investigation the suspects and victims met in order to consummate a drug deal involving a relatively small quantity of marijuana. The presence of drugs and money, not surprisingly, led to bad decisions and violence.”
One victim was shot and the other stabbed, both victims survived and released from the hospital and expected to recover. The South Portland Police are assuring people that the Wainwright complex, where the incident took place, does not have a crime problem and that it is still a safe area and that they are continuing to conduct regular and random patrols to the area as they do to all other publicly frequented areas.
Further the investigation is still ongoing and Police Chief Ed Googins expects more charges and arrests. He went on to say that he does not believe that the city needs to make changes based on this one incident. Googins said:
“Site improvements are not warranted based on this one incident where some individuals decided to meet in order to further an illegal drug sale,”“Once all the facts are known, we may have some recommendations that may prevent a similar incident at this location in the future.”
Rick Towle, director of the city's parks and recreation department that runs the Wainwright complex, agrees that the area is still safe for the public.
More Support for War on Drugs Wanted by Governor:
So far in 2015 more than 200 people in Maine have died from a drug overdose. This, along with other alarming drug statistics, got Gov. Paul LePage to talk about adding seven more Maine Drug Enforcement agents, four more prosecutors and four judges to back up the war on drugs. The plan is to attack drugs at their source.
Public Safety Commissioner John Morris spoke up about how he believes that people don't understand just what the drug epidemic is doing to the state and feels that people should be more upset about this epidemic.
Drug gangs in Southern New England and New York are bringing drugs into Maine in increasing amounts due to the large profits they can make off of them. In New York City a bag of heroin may cost $5, but in Maine that same bag can go for as much as $30. These gang members bring more than just drugs to Maine though, they also deal in their other trades like gun running and human trafficking according to the MDEA Director Roy McKinney.
Currently Maine has 35 MDEA agents, adding seven more would have a big impact as they would be able to add a lot more to the effort of making drugs more difficult to purchase. Even though this would seem like an idea that everybody can get behind, some groups and politicians feel that although they agree with the idea in general, they also feel that more funds should go towards drug treatment as well, instead of only enforcement.
South Portland Recovery Options:
- South Portland has five drug rehab centers listed for the treatment of drugs and alcohol. Different centers have different special programs, types of treatment and payment options. We will go over the centers and some of their details here so that you can make a more educated choice when looking for addiction treatment:
- Day One: Outpatient care only. Special programs available for adolescents and teens, DUI and DWI offenders and criminal justice clients. Medicaid, state financed payment, private health insurance, military insurance, and self payment is accepted with payment assistance.
- Discovery House: Outpatient care only. Special programs available for pregnant or postpartum women. Medicaid and self payment is accepted.
- Food Addiction and Chemical Dependency: Outpatient care only. Special programs available for adolescents or teens, dual diagnosis or persons with co-occuring disorders, persons with HIV or AIDS, gays and lesbians, seniors or older adults, pregnant or postpartum women, women, men, DUI or DWI offenders and criminal justice clients. Medicaid, medicare, state financed payment, private health insurance, military insurance, and self payment is accepted.
- Spurwink: Residential long term treatment available. Special programs available for adolescents or teens and dual diagnosis or persons with co-occurring disorders. Medicaid and state financed payment is accepted.
- Wellness Health Associates: Outpatient care only. Special programs available for DUI or DWI offenders. Self payment only.