As of early autumn, Maine had 140 deaths due to COVID-19 (9/23) and there were 442 COVID deaths in NH (10/1), including 104 in Rockingham County and 13 in Strafford County where our district’s Rotary Clubs are located.

  • Opioid deaths continue through the pandemic and are rising in Maine
  • As of March 30, Maine had 127 OD’s.   As of August, NH had 200 OD’s with the highest per-capita rate occurring in Strafford County.
  • The Maine expectation for the first half of the year was the state would reach 259 OPIOID deaths, and at the end of the year at this rate Maine could exceed its 2017 overdose death rate (418).  
  • New Hampshire reports 200 overdose deaths as of August 18, with a favorable decline for the year compared to the past several years: still, citizens are dying in both states. Covid-19 is not our only health crisis.
  • We ask your help with our Mission to keep the Opioid Epidemic Front of mind. 

On July 17, 2020 The Portland Press Herald published an article addressing the alarming jump in Maine Opioid deaths. 127 in the first quarter of 2020. This is 23% higher than the last quarter with an estimate total of 259 for the first half of the year. It stated if this rate continues it will exceed the death rate of 2017 which had the highest death toll in Maine, 418. The article quoted Maine Attorney General Aaron Fray as saying” The opioid epidemic remains a crisis requiring our immediate and sustained attention”.

These deaths are being attributed to the effects of the pandemic, including social isolation, economic difficulty, and reluctance to seek medical attention. This article made a huge impact on me as I thought of how many people are losing their battle with the combined impact from the current COVID-19 Pandemic we’re all experiencing.

YET… these deaths HAVE NOT and DO NOT get the daily attention the deaths from Opioids far exceed the deaths currently tracked and reported to us on a daily basis for COVID-19. 

It is time for our Rotary Clubs to refocus our attention to this crisis that is hitting our region, communities and families hard.

We are asking each club to identify one or two members who would like to work with members from around the region to develop our Virtual educational and support meetings. Please send the names and contacts to:

John Bouchard        207-229-0255

NH sources: