Maryland Reports Drop in Fatal Drug Overdoses in 1st Quarter

Maryland's health department says fatal drug overdoses are down for the first three months of the year, compared to the same time last year.

In preliminary data released Tuesday, the department said there were 577 total unintentional intoxication deaths. That's a 15 percent decrease, compared to the first three months of last year. Of the total, 89 percent were opioid-related deaths, primarily attributable to fentanyl.

Steve Schuh is the director of the state's Opioid Operational Command Center. He said 16 of 24 local jurisdictions saw declines in the number of opioid-related fatalities in the first quarter of this year. He said the state has never seen that many counties report declines in opioid-related deaths.

Still, Schuh said the heroin and opioid crisis in Maryland is by no means over.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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