LEWISTON, Maine — Drug agents say someone left an 18-year-old Harrison woman outside a Lewiston hospital over the weekend. She died a short time later. Investigators suspect a drug overdose.
As officials wait for the toxicology report to find an exact cause of death, the MDEA is looking to find out who dropped off 18-year-old Cassidy Patten at the hospital.
Meanwhile, law enforcement in the area say her death hits close to home. “It’s not only a problem here in our county and our state, it’s across the country,” acting Paris Police Chief Lt. Jeffrey Lange.
It’s an overdose epidemic that Lange is trying to tackle. He recently helped start the Western Maine Addiction Task Force. “Trying to get more education out there, more prevention methods in place, to try to prevent and ease the epidemic that’s going on right now,” Lange said.
MDEA officials are investigating Patten’s death. Over the weekend, they say someone brought her to the emergency room at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and left. Officials say she died a short time later from what appears to be a drug overdose.
“If these were the individual’s friends, you know, they should have stuck around and tried to get help faster,” Lt. Lange said.
Investigators say it is possible those individuals could face criminal charges for leaving without alerting hospital staff, but it’s too early in the investigation to know what those charges could be.
Lange says Patten’s death is a painful reminder of the need for resources like the task force. “It hits close, you know. My daughter is the same age, we have a member on the task force that lost his daughter and it’s way too young,” Lange said.
The toxicology results will confirm if Patten died from a drug overdose. According to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, 105 people died from drug overdoses in the first half of this year all over Maine.
According to statistics from the attorney general’s office, overdose deaths have consistently climbed each year in Cumberland, Kennebec and Androscoggin counties.