AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A report says drug overdose deaths increased slightly in the first three quarters of 2019 in Maine, where the nationwide opioid crisis has taken a heavy toll.

The report by Dr. Marcella Sorg of the University of Maine's Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center says Thursday that 277 Maine deaths from January to September of 2019 were caused by drugs.

The death total is forecast to be 4% higher than 2018. More than 80% of the overdoses were the result of at least one opioid.

Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl deaths constituted four-fifths of all opioid deaths in 2019.

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