Despite aggressive and multifaceted efforts to combat the heroin epidemic, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh anticipates the county will reach triple the number of overdose deaths in 2016 than in 2015.
The Capital Gazette reports:
Forty-two people died of a heroin overdose in Anne Arundel in 2015. This year, the death toll has raced past that figure: more than 100 people have died so far.
The county executive predicted that by New Year’s Day, there would be 120 dead from overdose.
Spiking heroin fatalities in the county are part of an upward trend seen throughout Maryland and nationwide. State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Data show heroin-related overdose deaths increased by 29 percent last year.
Many of the deaths over the past year are due to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is even more potent than heroin, said Dr. Jinlene Chan, the county’s health officer. Fentanyl is often sold as heroin.
Notwithstanding those sobering numbers, tackling the epidemic remains a priority for Schuh who, as the article notes, plans to reconvene his heroin task force to continue to explore ways to address heroin and its fatal consequences.
Read The Capital Gazette for more information.
To learn more about the devastating impacts of heroin, join us for a screening of Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict at the 2016 MACo Winter Conference. This documentary, developed by the FBI and DEA, is intended to educate students and young adults on the dangers of drug abuse through startling first-person accounts of those who have suffered the consequences.
Attendees to the MACo Winter Conference will also have the opportunity to receive hands-on training and certification in recognizing and responding to opioid overdose by administering naloxone at the Learn to Save a Life – Naloxone Training for Opioid Overdoses training session.
The MACo Winter Conference will be held December 7-9, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland. This year the conference’s theme is “An Ounce of Prevention.”
Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:
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