AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — New state data shows that opioid overdoses are continuing to claim hundreds of lives in Maine.

The state attorney general and chief medical examiner said Friday that Maine saw 282 deaths due to drug overdoses in the first three quarters of 2018.

That's slightly down from 297 in the same period in 2017.

The vast majority of overdoses stem from opioid drugs.

Democratic Attorney General Aaron Frey said Maine welcomes the "slight reduction" but said the opioid epidemic remains a public health crisis.

Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills this week signed an executive order to direct $1.6 million in existing state and federal funds for initiatives including making overdose antidote Naloxone more widely available.

Lawmakers last year approved $6.7 million to increase reimbursement rates for medication-assisted treatment.​

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