Attorney General Releases 3rd Quarter 2019 Drug Deaths Report

January 23, 2020

AUGUSTA - In the wake of figures released by his office and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, which show that drug overdose deaths increased slightly in the first three quarters of 2019, Attorney General Aaron M. Frey says that he remains concerned about the opioid use disorder epidemic.

"I am concerned that the number of deaths resulting from overdoses remains high," said Frey. The data in this report confirms how significant this crisis is. It will take dedication from elected officials, individuals, organizations, and communities across the state to get to the other side of this, and I am strongly supportive of the efforts underway to turn the tide.

The report compiled by Dr. Marcella Sorg of the University of Maine's Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, showed that 277 deaths were caused by drugs in January through September of 2019. Dr. Sorg's report forecasts total drug deaths for the year to be 4% higher than in 2018. The vast majority of the overdoses (84%) were caused by at least one opioid. Attorney General Frey noted that combatting drug deaths continues to be a priority of the Office of the Attorney General. He is a member of the Governors Opioid Task Force.

Supporting documents

ME DD 2019 Q3 Report