Maine Medical Examiner Wants More Money to Handle OD Deaths
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine is dealing with so many drug overdose deaths that the state medical examiner is asking for money to handle the workload.
The epidemic of heroin, fentanyl and other opioids is behind a record number of overdose deaths — a reported 378 last year in Maine.
The attorney general's office, which oversees the chief medical examiner, says sophisticated and costly drug screenings are at times required to determine which drugs are in a person's system.
The attorney general's office has received $150,000 in supplemental state funding this year and is seeking an additional $300,000 in the next two-year budget.
Autopsies help the state figure out which drugs are coming into Maine and provide closure for families.
Maine has two full-time pathologists and is contracting with additional pathologists to cover autopsies.