88
      Thursday
      93 / 74
      Friday
      91 / 73
      Saturday
      92 / 74

      Maryland sees increase in heroin-related drug overdoses

      ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland had a 33 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in the first quarter of this year.

      The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a new report on Thursday that shows the increase over the same period last year is being driven by fentanyl-laced heroin.

      The report says there were 252 total drug overdose deaths from January to March, and 148 are related to heroin.

      The state also has seen a big increase in heroin-related emergency department visits in recent years. There were 1,200 in Maryland last year, compared to 871 in 2012.

      Gov. Martin O'Malley created a state Overdose Prevention Council last month to address the rising problem.

      The O'Malley administration has set a goal of reducing overdose deaths by 20 percent by 2015.