There have been at least 284 deaths from drugs in New Hampshire so far this year, according to data released Monday by the Chief Medical Examiner’s office.
The figures are current through Dec. 5 and do not include another 80 deaths with causes still needing determination through toxicology testing.
The number of people who died from drugs in New Hampshire this year may be fewer than 400 for the first time since 2014, when 342 people died. It would also be the second straight year of declining drug deaths. The overdose deaths totaled 444 in 2015, 486 in 2016, 490 in 2017 and 471 in 2018.
So far this year, fentanyl was used in at least 234 people’s deaths, with 159 of those deaths involving at least one other drug. The combination of fentanyl and heroin resulted in five of the deaths, while heroin by itself has not accounted for any deaths yet this year.
Other opiates, excluding heroin and fentanyl, were used in 18 deaths.
State officials also confirmed 53 deaths from cocaine use and 36 involving methamphetamine. A total of six of those deaths involved only cocaine or only meth, the data show, while a vast majority of the total deaths used the stimulants with opiates.