Maryland, a state that already had one of the country's most punishing overdose mortality rates, notched a record-high number of drug deaths last year. The grim milestone was fueled by an alarming increase of fentanyl-related fatalities.
Despite renewed efforts to beat back the opioid 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, particularly the powerful, cheap synthetic forms that have been sweeping across America amid the nation's worst-ever drug crisis.
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