Coffee flavored brandy and other drugs Mainers love

Allen’s Coffee Flavored Brandy continues to be the top-selling brand of liquor in the state of Maine. The liquor is so popular, in fact, that its different bottle sizes ranked 1st, 2nd, 6th and 9th on the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations’ top 25 list of alcoholic items sold in 2006. The brandy has been a top-seller in Maine for over a decade now.

This popular liquor has also been associated with the state’s substance abuse troubles. Crossroads for Women was interviewed by The Washington Post just last year about the link between the drink and Mainers’ alcohol abuse. (Read The Washington Post article, “A Bittersweet Champagne of Maine”)

Like it or not, the state of Maine is well-known for its alcohol consumption.

“The Deadliest Drug: Maine’s addiction to alcohol,” a week-long series that appeared in the Portland Press Herald in 1997, won awards for its look at the cost of alcohol abuse on the state. Yet, coffee brandy continues to top the list as the favorite drink of Mainers a decade later. Has anything changed over the years?

Crossroads for Women serves adult women in our mother and child residential and outpatient treatment programs, and we have seen a change over the past few years. While alcohol is a primary concern for many of our clients, it’s certainly not the only concern. In fact, we’re starting to see opiates surpass alcohol as the main problem for the women who need treatment. Here is what Crossroads Maine saw in 2006:

  • 64% of Crossroads for Women’s clients were in treatment for drug abuse
  • 36% of Crossroads for Women’s clients were treated for alcohol abuse
  • Of those clients with alcohol as their primary problem, 50% also had a secondary drug addiction
  • Of those who were in treatment for a primary drug problem:
    • 24% were addicted to heroin
    • 23% were addicted to cocaine
    • 18% were addicted to crack

Clearly, alcohol isn’t the only drug Maine is addicted to.