Maryland's health department is focusing its battle against heroin overdose deaths by targeting services to people who have survived previous overdoses.
The department said Monday that 59 percent of the 858 people who died of an overdose last year had at least one or more hospital visits in Maryland for an overdose, up to one year before the overdose death.
The department says some had more than 10 hospital visits before dying of an overdose.
By Jan. 15, the state plans to create voluntary reporting protocols of all nonfatal overdoses with at least five pilot hospitals to coordinate addiction treatment services.
By March 1, the voluntary reporting protocol will be extended to all Maryland hospitals.
By April 15, a review is planned to consider additional steps.