BANGOR — Heroin believed to be laced with fentanyl is circulating around Bangor, and it’s killing users.
“It was concerning last week as we had three fatal overdoses in a 24-hour period,” Sgt. Wade Betters, a spokesman for the Bangor Police Department, said Monday.
He added, “We also have another case we are investigating from Friday … [that] we also suspect to be a drug overdose.”
Bangor police responded to six drug overdoses in the city during the last week of July.
“Since January 1, we’ve had a total of 67 overdoses,” Betters said. “In total, seven of those turned out to be fatal overdoses.”
He added, “For the most part, those are heroin and fentanyl-related.”
The Bangor data aligns with state information released last month.
The Attorney General’s Office and medical examiner are saying Maine overdose deaths for the first quarter of this year increased by 23 percent over the last quarter of 2019.
86 percent of those deaths were caused by at least one opioid, with fentanyl involved in most. The fentanyl percentage is also rising compared to last year.
“It’s just so deadly. So dangerous,” Betters said.
The state report says 127 Mainers died in drug overdoses during the first quarter of 2020. All total, there were 380 Maine deaths caused by drugs in 2019, a 7 percent increase over 2018.
“I’m certain that we’d have a lot more fatal overdoses if it was not for the availability of Narcan,” Betters said, referring to the opioid antidote designed to rapidly reverse an opioid overdose.
The police sergeant said there are resources available for those who are ready to start down the path to recovery.
“Ultimately, this is one of the reasons why we like to get the drug dealers off the streets,” Betters said.