Maryland Sees 62% Increase in Overdose Deaths

Overdose deaths in Maryland reached a new high in 2016 with more deaths during the first nine months of the year than of all of 2015.

The Washington Post reports:

The state health department reported Thursday that the number of overdose deaths for January through September climbed to 1,468, a 62 percent jump compared with the same period in 2015, and the sixth straight year that the figure has risen.

The total for the first three quarters of 2016 exceeded the overall sum for the previous year by nearly 17 percent.

Maryland health officials say the alarming trends are part of a nationwide opioid epidemic that involves growing use of heroin, prescription pain medications and fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that killed rock legend Prince in April.

The state’s new health secretary, Dennis R. Schrader, urged Marylanders who are dealing with substance abuse to visit his agency’s online tool for locating treatment centers.

“To not seek help for a drug problem now is to risk death,” he said in a statement.

For more information read the full article in The Washington Post.