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Mills administration holds 5th annual opioid summit in Portland

The administration of Gov. Janet Mills is holding its 5th annual opioid response summit in Portland Thursday.

The event brings together state officials, advocates, affected individuals, health care providers, and law enforcement to discuss strategies to combat opioid addiction.

Maine's U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee told attendees that fentanyl was involved in 80% of the 253 overdose deaths through May of this year. And she says it's increasingly being mixed with other drugs to increase their potency.

"In that same time period, 88% of overdose deaths that indicated cocaine as a cause of death and 82 that included methamphetamine also included fentanyl," she says. "In many, if not all of those deaths, the user was likely unaware that the drugs they were consuming contained fentanyl."

McElwee says social media has opened up new retail markets for fentanyl, and one priority for the Department of Justice is to get social media companies to do more to stop illegal trafficking.