Portland police said Tuesday they have seen a surge in drug overdoses over the past five days, including three fatalities.

There have been nine overdoses in the past five days, three of them fatal. There have been 96 overdoses resulting in 11 deaths so far this year, police said in a release.

Portland Public Health and the police are urging residents to learn more about Narcan and other harm-reduction strategies. Narcan is available at pharmacies without a prescription and can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Portland Public Health offers no-cost Narcan as well as overdose recognition and response training. Narcan is the brand name for naloxone, an opioid antidote that revives people who overdose.

There were 10,110 overdoses reported in Maine in 2022, including 716 suspected or confirmed deaths, according to a report released in December by the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

The report also concluded that nearly 80% of confirmed fatal drug overdoses last year were attributable to fentanyl, which can be even more deadly when combined with other illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine.

Resources are available to individuals struggling with addiction. For more information about obtaining Narcan or to schedule overdose response training, contact Kerri Barton, Portland Public Health’s Harm Reduction Services Program Coordinator (207) 541-6952 or kbarton@portlandmaine.gov.

For more information about youth substance use prevention, contact Jiffy Kelley-Young with Portland’s Substance Use Prevention Services at (207) 874-8452 or jkyoung@portlandmaine.gov.

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