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Maine medical orgs to step up efforts to stop opioid deaths

FILE - This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in...
FILE - This photo provided by the U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah and introduced as evidence in a 2019 trial shows fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills collected during an investigation. In a resumption of a brutal trend, nearly 71,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2019 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a new record high that predates the COVID-19 crisis. The numbers were driven by fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids, which accounted for 36,500 overdose deaths.(Uncredited | U.S. Attorneys Office for Utah via AP)
Published: Aug. 15, 2020 at 10:30 AM EDT
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SKOWHEGAN, Maine (AP) - The federal government is providing $4 million to help four medical organizations in Maine fight the state’s opioid crisis. Maine is in the midst of a stubborn epidemic of opioid deaths.

The state said 127 people died of drug overdoses in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 23% from the previous quarter.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King say the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Rural Communities Opioid Response Program is providing support to medical organizations in Brewer, Portland, Skowhegan and Bangor.

Each organization is slated to receive $1 million to enhance and expand service for substance use and opioid use disorders in rural communities.

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