China White Death –
June 1, 2018 – From January through March, 86 people died of overdoses, down from 89 such deaths during the same time period in 2017, according to the Maine Attorney General and Medical Examiner’s offices. A record 418 people died of drug overdoses in 2017. More people now die from drug overdoses than motor vehicle accidents, according to federal statistics. Although the total number of deaths declined during the first three months of 2018, more people who die from overdoses were killed by illegal substances, including fentanyl, as opposed to pharmaceutical opioids. About 65 percent of the deaths recorded in the first quarter were due to fentanyl or fentanyl analogues, up from 52 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2017. Fentanyl is a cheaper, more powerful alternative to heroin, and many users who believe they are taking heroin are actually using fentanyl.