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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Maine's opioid epidemic continues

Maine's Attorney General has released drug overdose data for February 2021. The report found non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is the leading cause of overdoses.

AUGUSTA, Maine —  

The Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner have released drug overdose data for February 2021, which draws attention to the continued devastation the opioid epidemic is causing in Maine. 

The report, compiled by Dr. Marcella Sorg of the University of Maine's Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, showed that 45 deaths were caused by drugs in February of 2021. Of those, 27 are confirmed drug deaths and 18 are suspected drug deaths. The most frequent cause of death in these cases is non-pharmaceutical fentanyl.

In response to the report, Attorney General Aaron M. Frey said, “February’s numbers are an important reminder of the opioid crisis’s continued grip on our state and the country. I am hopeful that current efforts, including the work of the Opioid Data Sharing Committee highlighted in this report, will continue to shine a light on the need for state and local governments to work proactively with community members and organizations to ensure that people are connected with the resources they need to treat substance use disorder.”

Attorney General Frey noted that combatting drug deaths continues to be a priority of the Office of the Attorney General. 

The state of Maine releases monthly reports on how the opioid epidemic is impacting the state. These monthly reports will be posted on https://mainedrugdata.com.