In 2016 Maine's overdose deaths soared nearly 40 percent, to a record 376 people. The majority of state's overdose deaths can be attributed to fentanyl-laced heroin. Two milligrams of fentanyl can be a lethal dose.
These are just a handful of the hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the state who have lost someone they love to the opioid crisis.
Gail McCarthy begins to cry as she sits in her daughter Ashley's old room at her home in Stetson, Maine. Gail lost not one, but two children to opioid overdoses. She found Ashley dead from a methadone overdose in her bed on Nov. 20, 2013, at 21 years old. Gail's son Matthew died 16 months later of an overdose on April 2, 2015. He was 24 years old.
Mary Jeralds outside of her home in Lebanon, Maine. She lost her son David Zysk to an overdose on Nov. 8, 2015. He was 33 years old. Zysk was four years clean before his fatal relapse.
Billy Munroe's urn on top of his mother's fridge. She lives in an efficiency apartment and said she wanted him to have his own space up there.
Lynn Ouellette at her home in Brunswick, Maine. She wears some of her son Brendan Keating’s ashes in a heart-shaped locket around her neck every day. Brendan died from an overdose on Dec. 16, 2013. He was 22 years old.
Joyce and Gary Fontaine at their home in Biddeford, Maine. They lost their only child, Cory Bossioneault-Fontaine to an overdose on Nov. 5, 2015. He was 29 years old.
Andrew Bossie keeps one of the spoons his brother used to shoot up with. "When I see it, it reminds me how much work still needs to be done," Bossie said.
Claire Smith, 3, at her grandparent's house in Stow, Maine. Claire was only nine months when her mother, Ronni Baker, died from an overdose on Feb. 26, 2015. Ronni was 23 years old.
Teresa McLeod at her home in South Portland. Her son Billy Munroe Jr. died from an overdose on Oct. 18, 2015. He was 36 years old.
Notes about the inevitability of a relapse written by David Zysk in his AA book that his mother, Mary, kept after his death. Zysk was four years clean before his fatal relapse.
Andrew Bossie at his home in Portland, Maine. He lost his younger brother, Ryan Bossie to an overdose on January 30, 2015. He was 27 years old.
Cathy Fecteau and her daughter Lizzy at their home in Biddeford, Maine. They lost their son and brother Matthew Fecteau to an overdose on July 30, 2016. He was 27 years old. Lizzy struggles herself with substance abuse disorder and an addiction to opioids.
Gail McCarthy touches the clothes her son Matthew died in. She keeps the clothes in a plastic bag so they continue to smell like him.
Heather Nason at her family's camp outside of Sanford, Maine. She lost her son Josh Fornier to an overdose on July 27, 2016. He was 26 years old.
Ann Howgate buries her face in the blanket that the police covered her daughter's body up. Kristina Emard died in her car from an overdose on Sept. 25, 2016. She was 28 years old.