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.