Media cover Sorg’s latest report on Maine’s drug overdose issue

Media covered the latest report by Marcella Sorg, a research professor in the Department of Anthropology and Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. The report shows the number of drug overdose fatalities decreased 5 percent for the first three quarters of 2018, compared to 2017 — down 282 from 297 reported deaths. At least 89 percent were due to accidental overdoses. According to the report, heroin caused 19 percent of deaths in the first three quarters of 2018, and cocaine caused 25 percent of deaths, an increase from 22 percent in 2017 and 16 percent in 2016. The majority of deaths — 61 percent — were caused by fentanyl, and 81 percent of deaths were caused by two or more drugs, three on average. The report indicates Maine’s opioid crisis is still a prominent issue — 82 percent of overdoses were caused by at least one opioid. Year-end numbers for 2018 have not been finalized, but the report projected there will have been 376 drug overdoses in Maine for the year. Mainebiz, Bangor Daily News, Portland Press Herald, News Center Maine and WAGM (Channel 8 in Presque Isle) covered the report. Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel and Journal Tribune carried the Press Herald article, and The County carried the BDN article.