Fetanyl-related deaths rise as Maryland's opioid crisis rages on (Baltimore Business Journal)

Maryland's deadly opioid crisis is showing no signs of abating with the latest state data highlighting a rising number of deaths due to fetanyl use.

Fentanyl-related deaths continue to rise, increasing from 1,119 in 2016 to 1,594 in 2017, according to information released Thursday on unintentional drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths from the Maryland Department of Health. The agency's statistics include deaths in 2017 and the first three months of 2018.

Dr. Leana Wen, the city's health commissioner, said the numbers show the need for increased funding for treatment on demand and the purchase of naloxone. She also questioned why the data for 2017 wasn't released until seven months after the new year.

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Statewide, the number of Maryland children found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood held steady even as the number of children tested increased by 10 percent, according to a Maryland Department of the Environment report released Tuesday.

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Trump declared an emergency over opioids. A new report finds it led to very little. (Vox)

To much fanfare last year, President Donald Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said at the time. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.”

When I’ve asked experts about these approaches, it’s not that any of them are bad. It’s that they fall short. For instance, Leana Wen, the former health commissioner of Baltimore (and soon-to-be president of Planned Parenthood), said that the Support for Patients and Communities Act “is simply tinkering around the edges.”

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