Media report on 2018 drug overdose death statistics compiled by Sorg

The Associated Press, Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily NewsWABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported drug overdose deaths in Maine dropped 15 percent last year, but still account for about one death each day. The annual report, compiled by Marcella Sorg, an anthropologist and research professor with the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine, put the total number of fatal drug overdoses at 354 in 2018, compared to 417 deaths the year before, according to the AP. The report found that 80 percent of the deaths involved opioids, and that Fentanyl and its analogs caused 77 percent of opioid-involved deaths. Sorg said it is important to note that a reduction in deaths does not mean there is a reduction in people suffering from opioid use disorder. Maine Public and U.S. News & World Report carried the AP article.