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More than 2000 fatal overdoses in Maryland in 2016

June 8th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene today released the 2016 Drug- and Alcohol-Related Intoxication Deaths in Maryland Report. The report found that 2,089 people died from overdoses last year, a 66 percent increase from 2015’s data. The largest surge was seen in residents 55 and older.

“The overdose crisis in Maryland is driven by a number of factors, and we’re committed to employing numerous approaches to reverse this grim tide,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We want the deaths to cease, and we need those who use drugs to seek help before they feel compelled to use again.” Marylanders can find treatment resources at MdDestinationRecovery.org, BeforeItsTooLateMD.org, and the state crisis hotline, 1-800-422-0009.

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 between 2007 and 2016. Fighting substance-use disorder and the opioid epidemic in Maryland has been a major priority of Governor Larry Hogan’s administration. Earlier this year, he declared a state of emergency in Maryland to raise awareness of the crisis and to rally resources with increased urgency. He also formed the Opioid Operational Command Center to cut red tape and enable state and local agencies coordinate and share information more efficiently.

“The continuation of this epidemic is the impetus for our daily work to better coordinate state and local emergency and health resources to save lives,” said Clay Stamp, who leads the command center.

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