At least 226 people have died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire so far this year. That number is likely to grow, with at least 100 more likely drug deaths still awaiting review by the state medical examiner.
Echoing a pattern we've seen for the last few years, fentanyl is responsible for most of the deaths seen so far in 2017 — almost three-quarters, to be exact.
And officials are starting to worry about the growing presence of newer, more potent analogues to this already-potent opioid.
Carfentanil, for example, has killed at least 11 people so far this year. It’s reportedly 100 times stronger than fentanyl, and can be harmful even to those who simply touch it — even if they don’t inhale or ingest it in any way.
It can take several months for the state to fully review the cause of an overdose death.
By the end of this year, state officials are expecting at least 460 deaths in total — not quite as many as last year, which set a record with 485 overdose deaths, but close.