Data collected by Sorg cited in Fiddlehead Focus article on drug epidemic in Maine

The Fiddlehead Focus article “County’s fast-growing drug problem becoming more visible” cited a study by Marcella Sorg, an anthropologist and research professor with the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. A total of 771 Mainers have died from drug overdoses in the past two years, and opioids were responsible for 80 percent of those deaths last year alone, according to Sorg’s 2018 report. Drug overdose deaths are declining statewide, but this does not necessarily mean fewer people have substance use disorders, the article states. “The reduction in deaths may represent a decline in the lethality of specific drugs and how they are being used. It does not necessarily indicate a reduction in the numbers of individuals with opioid use disorder,” Sorg wrote in the report.