Report: Coronavirus pandemic leads to significant increase in fatal drug overdoses in Maine

A new report says the number of drug overdoses is growing in Maine, and it’s linked to the coronavirus pandemicAccording to the report compiled by the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, 127 deaths were caused by drugs in the first four months of 2020, a 23 percent increase over the last four months of 2019. 82 percent of those deaths were caused by at least one opioid, according to the report, while 80 percent were caused by two or more drugs.That trend is continuing to climb, as preliminary research suggests a total of 235 drug overdose deaths in the first half of the year.Attorney General Aaron Frey said the data proves the opioid epidemic remains a crisis that requires immediate attention.”It remains clear that combating the pandemic, strengthening our public health infrastructure, and taking steps to ensure that Mainers are connected with resources in their community are efforts which are linked with one another,” Frey said.The reports points to factors including “social isolation, economic difficulty, and reluctance to seek medical attention” during the coronavirus pandemic.Read the full report here.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

A new report says the number of drug overdoses is growing in Maine, and it’s linked to the coronavirus pandemic

Advertisement

According to the report compiled by the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, 127 deaths were caused by drugs in the first four months of 2020, a 23 percent increase over the last four months of 2019. 82 percent of those deaths were caused by at least one opioid, according to the report, while 80 percent were caused by two or more drugs.

That trend is continuing to climb, as preliminary research suggests a total of 235 drug overdose deaths in the first half of the year.

[related id=’ce16d851-c35e-4df4-b93e-ce952deb41f9′ align=’center’][/related]

Attorney General Aaron Frey said the data proves the opioid epidemic remains a crisis that requires immediate attention.

“It remains clear that combating the pandemic, strengthening our public health infrastructure, and taking steps to ensure that Mainers are connected with resources in their community are efforts which are linked with one another,” Frey said.

The reports points to factors including “social isolation, economic difficulty, and reluctance to seek medical attention” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full report here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.