Maine overdoses nearly double in the city of Portland

Police in Portland have responded to 28 fatal overdoses this year as of Tuesday

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Maine's largest city has experienced a spike in fatal drug overdoses this year, and the deaths have already surpassed last year's total, police said.

Portland has been dealing with a worsening overdose crisis that is linked to opioid drug use. Police in the city said they have responded to 28 fatal overdoses this year as of Tuesday.

That's five more than all of last year, police said. Police said they are responding to an 84% increase in overdose incidents this year, compared to the same time window for 2020 and 2021.

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Maine officials see increase in overdoses in Portland.

Maine officials see increase in overdoses in Portland.

Police said in a statement that it's "clear that the opioid epidemic is not slowing down." They said the city is on track to eclipse a 2017 record of 436 total overdoses.

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The number of drug overdose deaths in Maine as a whole increased by nearly a quarter in 2021. More than 600 people died of overdoses in the state last year.