ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) —  A new study from the CDC finds that overdose deaths surged during the pandemic as more drugs were laced with fentanyl.

“They killed my baby,” said Barbara Hill Joyner. “They took my only son. My baby boy. He left behind 3 children that don’t have a father anymore.”

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Mothers on the frontlines of the fight against fentanyl gathered for a rally in Annapolis last week to raise awareness.

“I was not aware that these pills were even on the street. Fentanyl is in any product that you buy illegally on the street,” said Rhonda Maher.

These mothers are advocating for tougher laws for Maryland’s drug dealers.

“We want laws changed because these drug dealers are getting away with this and continue to do this,” said Hill-Joyner.

Many believe China is the source of much of the fentanyl coming into America.

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“They’re making the precursor chemical for fentanyl,” said a supporter at the rally.

While WJZ cannot confirm these claims, a recent report from the DEA said china is the primary source of fentanyl trafficked into the United States. Fentanyl is responsible for roughly 37,000 overdose deaths in twenty nineteen alone

“My son. He was poisoned with fentanyl,” said another supporter.

The latest report from Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center shows a rise in deaths related to fentanyl compared to last year.

“He died alone,” said Bonnie Johnson.  Johnson’s son, Jason, died last year. He was a former marine who battled addiction for years.

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“and he’s gone, and somebody got away with it,” said Johnson.

Annie Rose Ramos