According to the Center for Disease Control more than 63,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016. More than half of those deaths were related to opioids.
In Maryland, there were 2,044 drug overdose deaths in 2016. These numbers mark the deadliest year on record for overdose deaths in the United States.
The national rate for overdose deaths was 19.8 per 100,000 people. In Maryland , the rate was 33.2.
"Probably a lot of it is related to the use of synthetic opioids that are being mixed with people's heroin. Fentanyl, which is being imported from overseas, is 50 times more potent than heroin,” said Dr. Eric Weintraub, a specialist in addiction psychiatry at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
22 states saw even higher overdose death rates in 2016. New Hampshire (39), Pennsylvania (37.9) and West Virginia (52) had the highest drug overdose deaths rates per 100,000 people.