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The number of overdoses in the state of Maine continues to skyrocket

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 6:58 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -The number of overdoses in the state of Maine continues to skyrocket.   .  Megan Cole spoke with the director of the opioid response and has the story.

2020 will  be a record setting year for the number of opioid deaths  in Maine. The state released a report on the numbers of overdoses through September  and Gordon Smith ,the director of the opioid response says they have already seen the same number of overdoses as all of 2019.

“We don’t know what the year end number will be but it will clearly be the most that we’ve had in the state which is really heartbreaking but we’re double down on trying to respond to what we think is causing those deaths.”

Smith says that he believes the pandemic has made it worse.

“The pandemic has kept the overdose rates at high levels fortunately even the 3 quarter report showed it was a 7% decrease from the second quarter and I’m hoping that the fourth quarter will be something similar. "

He adds that there are things they are doing to combat this crisis.

“Our options program putting people on the ground to reach out to them giving them opportunities for more harm reduction or for treatment if they’re ready and making sure that treatments immediately available to them that is our strategy.”

Smith says that if you suffer from addiction and need help, to call 211.

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