AUGUSTA — Maine Attorney General Janet Mills says the number of overdose deaths attributed to heroin and other opioids is averaging about five a week across the state.

Mills said Wednesday there were 21 apparent drug overdose deaths in a recent month’s worth of data from the Medical Examiner’s Office. She said eight of them involved prescription medications.

Mills urged medical officials to be part of the solution by reviewing guidelines for prescribing opioid painkillers, using medication to treat opioid addiction, and to check with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program before prescribing painkillers.

She says other recommendations will be forthcoming from a heroin task force. Mills, U.S. Attorney Thomas Delahanty and Public Safety Commissioner John Morris are leading the task force

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