Alaska opioid-related deaths reached their highest last year, according to a new report released by the state’s health and social services agency.

The report, titled Health Impacts of Opioid Misuse in Alaska, said preliminary data showed 108 deaths for 2017.

The 26-page study was produced to provide an “overview on the use patterns, trend, morbidity and mortality associated with opioid use in Alaska.”

The report also cited more than 1,000 opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits during the last two years.

The report comes well timed for an upcoming larger discussion on the opioid crisis. U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan on Aug. 17 will host a panel at the University of Alaska Anchorage Alaska Airlines Center titled Alaska Wellness Summit: Conquering the Opioid Crisis. 

Speakers include: Jim Carroll, acting director, U.S. Office of National Drug Control; Adml Karl L. Shultz – 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard; David Rybicki, deputy assistant attorney general, organized crime and gang section of the criminal division; Alaska Attorney General Jahna Lindemuth; Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan; Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll; and Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer.

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