December 16, 2019
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Maine sees increase in emergency room visits due to overdoses

Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Ashley L. Conti | BDN
Eastern Maine Medical Center staff walk down a hallway in the hospital in Bangor in this BDN file photo.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says Maine emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased in the last year.

According to the CDC, emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased by 34 percent between 2016 and 2017. The Portland Press Herald reports New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all saw decreases in emergency room visits related to opioid overdoses.

Maine had a record 418 drug induced deaths in 2017, up 11 percent from the previous year’s record.

Milestone Recovery executive director Bob Fowler says the increase in overdose emergency room visits is tied to Maine’s lack of “adequate prevention and treatment services.”

Unlike other states in New England, Maine hasn’t implemented its Medicaid expansion. Expansion proponents say the program could help about 10,000 people.

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