Maine broke record for overdose deaths during pandemic year

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Drug overdose deaths in Maine have appeared to increase during the first month of the year after a record-setting 2020. The Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Chief Medical Examiner said Thursday they have shifted to reporting overdose deaths by month to provide more information to the public about the state’s drug crisis. The offices said there were 29 confirmed and 29 suspected overdose deaths in January, an apparent increase from 44 confirmed deaths in January 2020. The state averaged 42 overdose deaths per month in 2020. The heavy toll in January 2021 appeared to show a continuation of a surge in overdose deaths last year.