AUBURN – Police say that an Auburn man whose body was found Monday was likely dead for several days while his live-in girlfriend lay unconscious nearby.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office did an autopsy Wednesday on Kyle Tyburski, 24.

His death had been considered suspicious because it was determined that Tyburski had been dead for several days in the apartment occupied by his girlfriend, Pamela Chasse, 29.

Police said it appears that Chasse was unconscious for several days because of drug use. When she regained consciousness and found Tyburski dead, she called 911. She was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where she was listed in satisfactory condition.

Tyburski’s body was found with several prescription drug bottles nearby, police said in a written statement.

Autopsy results won’t be final until toxicology tests are completed, possibly six weeks from now.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Supervisor Gerry Baril said the death is another indication of how problematic abuse of prescription drugs has become.

“Which untimely and unexpected death is going to be the wake-up call?” he said.

The numbers bear him out. From 1999 to 2006, the number of overdose deaths in Maine tripled. In Maine in 2005, the number of deaths from overdoses exceeded deaths from automobile accidents for the first time.

From 2007 to 2008, the rise of drivers found impaired by hydrocodone — the generic form of Vicodin, among the most frequently prescribed drugs — rose by 750 percent. The number of impairment cases involving oxycodone rose by 450 percent, and cases involving methadone rose 150 percent.

In many of the overdose deaths, the victims had no criminal history of drug use, Baril said.

“A lot of these folks became dependent on these opioids because they took them long term for an underlying health problem,” Baril said. “Then they developed a tolerance.”