BALTIMORE (AP) — Statistics show the number of opioid-related overdoses in Maryland increased 14.8 percent over the first six months of 2018 compared with the same period last year.

According to data released Friday by the Maryland Department of Health, opioid overdoses killed 1,185 people from January to June. That’s compared with 1,032 during the same period last year.

The Baltimore Sun reports the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl played a role in more than three-quarters of all overdose deaths in the state.

Clay Stamp is executive director of the state’s Opioid Operational Command Center.

While prescription drugs posed the biggest issue early on in the opioid epidemic, Stamp says those deaths have declined and now illicit street drugs are the problem.

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