Record No. of Fatal Drug Overdoses in Maine in 2020 – NECN – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-02-23 19:30:17 –

More than 655 people have died of COVID-19 in Maine, but another fatal problem raises concerns.

In 2020, the state’s fatal drug overdose surpassed previous records at 503.

According to Gordon Smith, director of opioid response in Maine, two main factors contributing to the proliferation of deaths are that isolation from pandemics impedes people’s access to treatment and dangerous synthetic opiates. Fentanyl is mixed with other drugs. Like methamphetamine and cocaine.

“The numbers are very alarming and unacceptable,” Smith said in a Tuesday interview with NECN / NBC 10 Boston, saying that the state is reducing drug problems in many new major initiatives and states. He explained that it had doubled. Local funding. Part of that is expected to come from the new COVID-19 relief program that Congress is working on.

“If we can reach half of the people who survived the overdose in Maine, these numbers will decrease,” he said, saying that every time he dies, he lives the overdose but is at high risk of using it. I explained that there are people. The substance reappears and then dies.

To build these relationships, the state establishes relationships with people who use the substance, and 16 new communities to help them hopefully enter into recovery without suffering a fatal overdose. I got in touch.

State leaders also launched a series of PSAs featuring Maine people recovering from substance use and Maine parents who lost their children in the crisis. It serves as a central resource for those in need of assistance with substance use.

As of Tuesday, the website had 17,000 hits, according to Smith.

Asked about the future, Smith said he was an “optimist” and could have fewer deaths from overdose in 2022 in Maine.

“Within a year, if we’re on the other side of the pandemic and the options program is successful, we’ll see the decline in deaths we saw in 2018,” he said.

One of the data points that gives hope to Maine authorities is the number of deaths from overdose in Cumberland County, including Greater Portland.

Despite the pandemic, there were few deaths in populated areas last year.

Record No. of Fatal Drug Overdoses in Maine in 2020 – NECN Source link Record No. of Fatal Drug Overdoses in Maine in 2020 – NECN

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