Maryland hits record-high drug deaths, fueled by fentanyl

Maryland notched a record-high number of drug deaths last year, fueled by an alarming increase of fentanyl-related fatalities amid an escalating epidemic.

Newly released figures from Maryland’s health department show there were 2,282 intoxication deaths in 2017. Nearly 90 percent of those deaths were opioid-related.

The hard-hit state’s fentanyl-related deaths continue to soar, increasing from 1,119 in 2016 to an all-time high of 1,594 in 2017. That’s an increase of some 42 percent. The large majority of those deaths occurred in Baltimore, Maryland’s major city.

Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen says it’s “terrifying that we’re at a point where the numbers escalate every year.”

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