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Overdoses Continue at 33% Increase Over 2013 in Maryland

November 8th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) released new data on unintentional overdose deaths occurring in the first half of 2014 as part of its continued surveillance of the opioid overdose epidemic. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, the state has set the goal of driving down overdose deaths by 20 percent by 2015 and has added reducing drug and alcohol overdose deaths to the Administration’s 16 strategic goals.  DHMH prepares quarterly reports on unintentional drug and alcohol-related overdose deaths to provide up-to-date information for state and local action against the opioid overdose epidemic in the State. The most recent data show  528 total drug- and alcohol-related deaths occurring in Maryland from January to June 2014, a 33% increase from the same period in 2013. This increase was the result of a 46% rise in heroin-related deaths and a seven-fold rise in fentanyl-related deaths.  Maryland recently expanded access to the lifesaving-medication naloxone. In June, Governor O'Malley issued an executive order establishing a statewide task force and initiating a broad range of efforts against overdose. Find more information on Maryland’s efforts on Overdose Prevention.

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