Statistics released by American Medical Response show significant year-over-year increases in the number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths in the state’s two largest cities.
The combined number of suspected opioid overdoses in Nashua and Manchester in June were 73 — one more than May’s total number, marking a monthly combined total of over 70 opioid overdoses for the second consecutive month.
“Consecutive monthly totals above 70 have not happened since June 2019 and clearly indicate an alarming trend of a resurgence in opioid availability and use,” Northeast Regional Director of AMR Ambulance Chris Stawasz said in a statement. “AMR medics continue to see poly-illicit substance use and an increase in methamphetamine use as well.”
According to AMR statistics, Manchester opioid overdoses are on track to increase 21% this year — nearly 500 total — over 2020 numbers.
Nashua opioid overdoses are projected to increase 17% from 2020, at nearly 250 total, according to AMR.
“With one half of the year now complete, both cities are continuing to trend upward by double digits on a year over year projection for the number of suspected opioid overdoses,” said Stawasz.
Stawasz said overdose numbers declined during the pandemic because more people were inside.
Officials said more people now have access to Narcan, the overdose reversal drug. Narcan use set a record in the Queen City earlier this year.
Thirty percent of opioid overdoses in Manchester this past June had Narcan administered by a layperson prior to the arrival of first responders. In Nashua, that number was 26%, according to AMR.
There were 53 suspected opioid overdoses in Manchester last month, six of which were fatal.
Manchester recorded 39 overdose deaths in 2020, compared to 23 already this year. AMR projects the number of fatal overdoses in the Queen City to come in around 47 by year’s end.
There were 19 suspected opioid overdoses reported in Nashua in June.