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Maryland Department of Health releases 2017 first quarter fatal overdose data

August 4th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Department of Health today released data for fatal overdoses in the first quarter of 2017. During this period, which encompasses January to March of 2017, there were 550 overdose-related deaths in the state, including 372 fentanyl-related deaths. 15 overdose deaths reported to date in Allegany County. 

“Fentanyl and synthetic drugs continue to claim the lives of Marylanders, many of whom are unknowingly consuming them,” said Health Secretary Dennis Schrader. “We implore Marylanders who are grappling with substance use disorder and are taking illicit substances to seek treatment immediately.”

 

Marylanders can find treatment resources at MdDestinationRecovery.org, BeforeItsTooLateMD.org, and the state crisis hotline, 1-800-422-0009. 

 

The new quarterly data show how fentanyl, an additive that is often combined with other opioids, continues to drive the scourge of overdose deaths. Fentanyl and a related additive, carfentanil, are 50 and 100 times more potent than heroin, respectively. In 2016, Health issued a warning about such fentanyl consumption, later adding carfentanil to the list. Health continues to reinforce that warning.

 

“The number of Marylanders impacted by this crisis continues to drive our resolve to manage this epidemic as a statewide emergency,” said Clay Stamp, executive director of the state’s Opioid Operational Command Center. “In order for us to be successful, we must be united in this fight and steadfast in our commitment to partner with others in efforts to prevent, protect, and treat those in need.”  

 

Fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic in Maryland has been a top priority of Governor Larry Hogan’s administration. Health, in partnership with other state agencies, continues to collaborate with federal, state, and local partners to try to reduce the number of overdoses and has been combating and responding to the increase in overdose deaths. 

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