The Opioid Epidemic in Augusta
Maine has one of the highest death rates caused by opioid overdose in the United States, and the problem is growing worse every year. In 2016, 376 people suffered a fatal opioid overdose in Maine, a 39%-larger death toll than the 272 people who died in Maine from opioids the previous year. In 2017, drug overdoses claimed the lives of 418 people in Maine, the majority of whom were using at least one opioid, often illegal fentanyl. Of all the opioid fatalities recorded in Maine in 2017, 11% occurred in Kennebec County and 3% occurred specifically in Augusta.
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Augusta and the Heroin Crisis
Many people who are struggling with addiction to opioids, whether illegal or prescribed, also try heroin. Heroin is a very dangerous and addictive drug. Most people in Augusta who died from an overdose in 2017 used heroin along with an opioid such as fentanyl or morphine or bought heroin from drug dealers who secretly laced their product with fentanyl. Even without the presence of other opioids, which increases the risk of overdose, heroin can be lethal. In fact, the Augusta Police Department and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office issued an emergency warning to their residents in 2018 about an especially deadly form of heroin being sold in the city and throughout the county. In Augusta and Kennebec County, men consistently comprise over 70% of the people who lose their lives to opioids or heroin, and the average age of a person in Augusta who dies from an overdose is 41 years.
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If you or someone you know is living with an addiction to opioids, heroin, or any other substance, contact a dedicated treatment provider today. With the right support, anyone can recover from addiction and reclaim their life.