The Sun Journal analyzed annual confirmed drug death counts, from 1997 through September 2021, using data from drug death reports from the Rural Drug and Alcohol Research Program at the University of Maine Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and the Office of the Maine Attorney General, as well as data supplied by Dr. Marcella Sorg of UMaine in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Sun Journal.

For county-level data, the Sun Journal’s analysis took a three-year moving average of deaths and adjusted for population in order to account for year-to-year fluctuations in deaths and population changes.

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