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.”

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  1. Great to see Maryland prosecutors holding drug dealers accountable as the opioid epidemic rages on, killing nearly 100 Americans each day. Wouldn’t it be nice if Big Pharma was also held accountable in this national crisis? It was big pharmaceutical companies that created this crisis with opioid-based pain pills, spent millions to market their products as “non-addictive” and lobby lawmakers and regulators to look the other way. Instead, Big Pharma drugmakers and distributors lawyer up and continue to rake in billions while the opioid death count rises.
    Rick Van Warner
    Author of On Pills and Needles: The Fight to Save My Son from Opioid Addiction

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