Overdose deaths could beat last year's total by end of month

Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 22, 2016

Overdose deaths are continuing on a grim trend this year.

From January to June Maryland saw 920 deaths related to overdose. That's 319 more than this point last year according to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

In all of 2015 1,258 Marylanders died from overdoses. If the death rate continues at the same pace, we'll pass last year's death toll by the end of this month.

The department issued a warning in January about fentanyl and are repeating that concern. To help raise awareness about the drug they are releasing 2 PSA's.

Fentanyl is an opioid that is more potent than heroin and is sometimes added to drugs or replaces them altogether. This means people are unknowingly buying fentanyl when trying to buy other substances, like heroin or cocaine.

Meanwhile, the state is doing more to try and reduce theses numbers, making naloxone more accessible. Pharmacists in our state can give the antidote to anyone who passed the training course created by the state. More than 34,000 people have completed the training in the last 2 years.

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