BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — This past weekend, three opioid overdoses that Howard County police responded to pushed the total tally for the year above 2016’s total.
One of the three was fatal, authorities say.
In 2016, Howard County police say they responded to 133 non-fatal opioid overdoses and 29 opioid overdose deaths.
So far in 2017, there have already been 138 non-fatal opioid overdoses and 43 opioid overdose deaths, though a small number of the cases are still classified as “suspected” overdoses.
This comes as the entire state, and country, has become more deeply entrenched in an opioid epidemic.
Last year in Maryland, 418 people died from prescription opioid overdoses. That annual number has steadily risen since 2012, according to statistics from the state’s Behavioral Health Administration.
Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency for the opioid crisis in March, announcing $50 million for enforcement, prevention and treatment services over the next five years.
President Trump said last Monday that he plans to declare a national emergency for the opioid epidemic this week.
The following day, Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pennsylvania, Trump’s nominee for drug czar, withdrew himself from consideration for the position. Marino was nominated last month to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy — and the fight against the opioid epidemic — but stepped down following a report by “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post on his support for a bill that weakened the DEA’s power.
If you or someone you know in Howard County needs help with an opioid issue, call 800-422-0009.
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