Statistics compiled by Sorg show record Maine drug deaths in 2016, media report

The Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2), WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland), Penobscot Bay Pilot and WAGM (Channel 8 in Presque Isle) reported on 2016 Maine drug overdose death figures released by the state attorney general’s office. Maine overdose deaths climbed for the fifth straight year, soaring nearly 40 percent to claim a record 378 people, more than one person a day, according to the reports. Opioid drugs, especially fentanyl and heroin, caused most of the deaths, the study found. The 378 fatalities surpassed the previous record of 272 set in 2015, the Press Herald reported. In the news release, Attorney General Janet Mills thanked the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Marcella Sorg, an anthropologist and research professor with the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine, for their work compiling the data.