LEWISTON — State drug agents are investigating the possible overdose death of a 18-year-old Harrison woman who died in Lewiston on Saturday.

Matt Cashman, supervisor of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency’s Western District Task Force, said Monday that agency officers were investigating the death of Cassidy Patten.

Patten was a 2015 graduate of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School and her friends and family were sharing memories and condolences on Facebook Monday.

Cashman said it appears Patten died of a possible overdose after being dropped at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. He said investigators were trying to determine Patten’s whereabouts and who she was with prior to her death and were working collaboratively with other local law enforcement.

While the official cause of Patten’s death remains unknown, Cashman said it was likely the state medical examiner’s office would complete a toxicology exam that would attempt to determine whether Patten’s death was caused by an overdose. 

Cashman said Patten’s relatively young age and the way some of those she was with attempted to anonymously deliver her to the emergency room in Lewiston were red flags for investigators.

Cashman reiterated his agency was working with local and federal law enforcement in an effort to disrupt the source of illegal drugs in Maine and remained focused on finding and stopping those who are distributing them.

In recent weeks, state officials including Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage and the state’s Attorney General Janet Mills, a Democrat, have highlighted the increasing number of opioid-related overdose deaths — many of them from heroin and a synthetic substitute, fentanyl.

LePage’s administration has launched a new center at the Maine Department of Public Safety in an attempt to better share information on drug-related crimes. LePage has also urged lawmakers to better fund the MDEA in order to help put more investigators on the street. Meanwhile, other lawmakers have pushed for greater funding for addiction-related treatment programs.

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