BALTIMORE (AP) — As the number of deaths from opioid overdoses continues to climb, some prosecutors in Maryland are bringing charges of manslaughter and even murder against drug dealers who are supplying users with fatal doses.
The Baltimore Sun reports that prosecutors in seven Maryland counties have brought serious charges in overdose cases. The newspaper found that at least 21 people have been charged with manslaughter in overdose cases since 2014.
Maryland health officials say more than 2,000 residents died from overdoses last year, a 66 percent jump from the previous year and the largest-ever increase in a single year. Most involved opioids.
Michael Beach, a district public defender, said he is troubled by the prosecutions. He said they are “a reprise of the failed war on drugs of the 1980s and ’90s.”
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)