The state will receive more than $2 million this year to combat the opioid abuse epidemic, a crisis that in 2017 resulted in the record number of overdose deaths in Maine.

Maine Sens. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent, made a joint announcement Wednesday evening that said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will award the state $2,039,029.

Maine’s opioid funds were just a small piece of a much larger award announced by the federal government, which will split $485 million among 50 states and four U.S. territories.

“The astonishing rate of overdoses has increased rapidly in recent years and has shown no signs of abating. Last year, overdoses claimed the life of more than one Mainer per day, making this one of the top causes of death in our state and affecting far too many families and communities in Maine and across the country,” Collins and King said. “This funding will support vital programs that provide hope, recovery and healing to Mainers who are struggling with addiction.”

In 2017, there were a record 418 deaths from drug overdoses in Maine, an 11 percent increase over the 376 in 2016, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Nationally, there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016.

Last year, the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram published a 10-part series called “Lost” that examined the impact of the opioid crisis on the state. The series found that although many other states have been dealing with the same issue, the problem here has been made worse by a lack of resources and a lack of consensus on how best to combat the problem.

According to a news release Wednesday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, California received the largest award at $44.7 million.

Other New England states receiving funding including: Massachusetts, $11.7 million; Connecticut, $5.5 million; New Hampshire, $3.1 million; Rhode Island, $2.1 million; and Vermont, $2 million.

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