Fentanyl and Opioid Deaths Hit Record in Maryland - NBC4 Washington

Fentanyl and Opioid Deaths Hit Record in Maryland

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    This graph shows fentanyl-related deaths rising higher over the years, based off data from the Maryland Department of Health.

    Deaths related to fentanyl and opioids have surged in Maryland. 

    The Maryland Department of Health released on Thursday preliminary reports of drug- and alcohol-related deaths, comparing data from the first quarter of 2018 to previous years.

    The report estimates there were 579 opioid-related deaths in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the 482 deaths in the same quarter last year, marking a 20 percent increase. 

    Fentanyl-related deaths in 2018 jumped to 500, from 371 deaths in the first quarter of 2017. The 500 deaths in 2018 is about 31 percent of the 1,594 total fentanyl-related deaths last year.

    The health department said that fentanyl in combination with heroin or cocaine is driving the increase.

    Heroin-related deaths dropped from 291 deaths to 236 deaths this year. 

    On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Labor granted Maryland $1.9 million for the state's recovery fund. Maryland ranks higher than the national average of drug-related overdose deaths.

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