New Hampshire Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval has confirmed 118 drug overdose deaths this year, with 96 more toxicology tests pending.

Duval’s regular report breaks down what types of drugs Granite Staters have fatally overdosed on, and how those counts compare to trends in recent years.

As of mid-July, 55 drug deaths — making up the vast majority so far this year — were due to fentanyl, according to Duval. Fentanyl mixed with other drugs, excluding heroin, accounted for 38 of the total deaths.

No deaths thus far have been attributed to heroin alone or heroin mixed with any other drug besides fentanyl.

Duval says two deaths are due to heroin and fentanyl mixtures, and seven deaths are attributed to “other opiates/opioids.” 

With only two toxicology reports pending from 2020, Duval and her team have confirmed 416 statewide drug deaths during the pandemic year. The figure is nearly the same as 2019, when 415 were tallied.

Overdose deaths for several years prior had steadily climbed — 198 fatalities in 2013; 342 in 2014; 444 in 2015; 486 in 2016 and 490 in 2017.

The first dip in years came in 2018, when the state medical examiner's office reported 471 drug deaths.

Along with numbers changing each year, so are the types of drugs proving deadly. Deaths involving methamphetamine have been on the rise since 2012, Duval's latest records show.

The year 2012 saw a single overdose death with meth, but by 2016 the figure was 13 times higher. Duval says the drug contributed to killing 14 people in 2017, 22 in 2018, 52 in 2019 and 59 in 2020.

Duval is scheduled to release another updated count in August.

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