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Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center

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Abstract/ Summary

This report, funded by the Maine Office of Attorney General, provides a summary of statistics regarding drug fatalities in Maine during January-June, 2020. Data for the report were collected at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. A “drug death” is identified when one or more drugs are mentioned on the death certificate as a cause or significant contributing factor for the death. Total fatalities due to drugs during the first half of 2020 total 258 (Figure 1). The first quarter of 2020 had 127 deaths, a 25% increase over 4th quarter 2019; the second quarter total was 131, a 3% increase over the 1st quarter 2020. The 2020 total is 26% higher than the previous half-year, July-December 2019, which had a total of 204. This pattern, similar to that seen in many other states, is likely due at least in part to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic: isolation, avoidance of medical services, and alterations in the illicit drug supply.


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