In this July 20, 2017, file photo, a package of Narcan is seen at the Walgreens on Broadway in Bangor. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

From January to May, Maine saw an average of nearly 800 drug overdoses and 53 deaths each month.

The latest drug report from the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine said that’s an increase from the same timeframe in 2021, which saw roughly 660 overdoses per month. The proportion of fatalities so far this year is also 9 percent higher than the same time last year.

Fentanyl was the most frequent cause of death. The report found the powerful drug is nearly always found in combination with other drugs.

Because fentanyl acts more quickly than other opioids, it leaves less time to find a person alive and reverse an overdose. The report found that more than a third of people who had fatal overdoses were administered the opioid reversal naloxone.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.