The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has released the 2014 Drug- and Alcohol-Related Intoxication Deaths in Maryland Report. The report notes a 21% increase in fatal overdoses compared with 2013. As announced in a DHMH Press Release:
The annual report describes trends in the number of unintentional drug- and alcohol-related intoxication deaths, commonly referred to as fatal overdoses, occurring in Maryland during the period 2007-2014. Fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Maryland is a major priority of the Hogan Administration. Major findings from the report include:
-A total of 1,039 overdose deaths occurred in Maryland in 2014. This also represented a 60 percent increase since 2010.
-Eight hundred eighty-seven or 86 percent of all overdose deaths in 2014 involved opioids – which include heroin and prescription drugs such as oxycodone, methadone, and fentanyl. Large increases in the number of deaths involving heroin and fentanyl were responsible for the overall increase in opioid-related deaths:
-The number of fentanyl-related deaths more than tripled between 2013 and 2014, increasing from 58 in 2013 to 185 in 2014. The number of fentanyl-related deaths began increasing in late 2013 as a result of overdoses involving an illicit form of fentanyl that increasingly has been mixed with, or substituted for, heroin or other illicit substances.
-There were 578 heroin-related deaths in 2014, a 25 percent increase over the number in 2013. Heroin-related deaths have more than doubled in Maryland between 2010 and 2014.
-The number of alcohol-related deaths increased by 13 percent between 2013 and 2014, and by 69 percent since 2010.
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