AUGUSTA – The Maine Attorney General’s Office released data today showing that 418 Mainers died from overdoses in 2017, an 11 percent increase over the 376 overdose deaths in 2016.

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“This is absolutely devastating news. We can no longer ignore the impact of this epidemic, disregard the underlying causes or the lack of access to needed treatment. This data represents more than numbers – it represents our family, our friends, our neighbors. In every instance, at every age, we should be doing everything in our power to save every life possible. And the sad fact is, we are not.

“To truly start combatting this epidemic and reverse these horrific statistics, we need cooperation and leadership from all branches of government, including the Executive Branch. Every aspect of Maine’s economy, community safety and family stability will continue to suffer if we do not make progress on this crisis.”