By Associated Press - Tuesday, October 16, 2018

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Public Health Association is using its annual conference to focus on the problem of addiction in the state.

The conference is taking place all day on Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center in the state’s capital city. The event is the only statewide public health conference that happens in Maine, and this year it’s centering on programming and research about addiction.

A report compiled by Dr. Marcella Sorg of the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center showed last month that 180 people died from drug overdoses in the first half of the year, compared to 185 last year. The number of overdose deaths increased by more than 10 percent from 2016 to 2017.

The public health association represents hundreds of professionals in the state.

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