More than 300 fatal overdoses in state this year

Keene Sentinel
Published: 12/23/2020 6:36:55 PM

At least 316 deaths this year have been attributed to drug overdoses in New Hampshire, according to data released Monday by the chief medical examiner’s office. The numbers are current through Dec. 18 and do not include 74 deaths with causes still awaiting determination through toxicology testing.

As with previous data sets, fentanyl continues to be involved in a majority of the confirmed drug deaths. The synthetic opioid was used alone in 116 of them, and an additional 121 involved fentanyl in combination with at least one other drug besides heroin. Three deaths involved a combination of heroin and fentanyl.

No deaths this year have been attributed to heroin used alone or with drugs other than fentanyl.

Opioids other than fentanyl and heroin were involved in 29 confirmed deaths, and another 47 involved unspecified drugs, according to state statistics.

New Hampshire’s number of fatal overdoses skyrocketed starting in 2013 and 2014 as part of a nationwide epidemic. Fatal overdoses peaked in 2017, with a confirmed total of 490. Last year – with 415 confirmed deaths reported by the state – marked the second year in a row that the number of drug deaths dropped.

The Doorway at Cheshire Medical Center – a referral hub for people to get help with substance use disorders – is at 24 Railroad St. in Keene and is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Support through the state’s 24/7 hotline is available at 211.

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