Portland officials are urging residents to be aware of ways they can access Narcan in light of a spike in drug overdoses.

The Portland Police Department said Friday that officers had seen five overdoses in 24 hours, including three that resulted in death. So far in 2023, there have been 37 overdoses in the city, and six people have died.

Fatal drug overdoses in Maine continue to increase, with a record 636 people dying in 2021, according to state statistics. Maine was on track in 2022 to break that record, with 565 overdose deaths through October. Final numbers are not yet available.

Narcan – the brand name for naloxone, an opioid antidote that revives people who overdose – is available at pharmacies without a prescription. It is also distributed at syringe exchanges, including Portland Public Health, and several nonprofits such as Maine Access Points, Health Equity Alliance and the Church of Safe Injection.

For more information, city officials urged people to contact Kerri Barton, the harm reduction services program coordinator at Portland Public Health, at (207) 541-6952, or kbarton@portlandmaine.gov.

If you encounter an overdose, please call 911 and stay with the person until first responders arrive.

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