Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Heroin Drives Spike in Overdose Deaths in Maryland

News4′s Darcy Spencer talks to a community activist who is calling for more funding of treatment centers to treat drug addicts. It follows a report that shows heroin fueled a spike in overdose deaths in Maryland in the first quarter of 2014.

Friday, Jul 25, 2014 • Updated at 7:24 PM EDT

Maryland had a 33 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in the first quarter of this year. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a new report on Thursday that shows the increase over the same period last year is being driven by fentanyl-laced heroin.

The report says there were 252 total drug overdose deaths from January to March, and 148 are related to heroin.

The state also has seen a big increase in heroin-related emergency department visits in recent years. There were 1,200 in Maryland last year, compared to 871 in 2012.

Gov. Martin O'Malley created a state Overdose Prevention Council last month to address the rising problem.

The O'Malley administration had set a goal of reducing overdose deaths by 20 percent by 2015.


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