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BALTIMORE (AP) - More than 2,000 people died of drug and alcohol overdoses in Maryland last year, an increase of 66 percent over 2015.

Calling the deaths a "grim tide," Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader said in a statement Thursday that the statistics represent the largest single-year increase ever recorded in Maryland.

Health officials say the biggest increase in fatal overdoses comes among people 55 and older. Those deaths increased five-fold between 2010 and 2016, from 86 to 424.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Public health officials say there have been six suspected overdose deaths in Delaware this week, bringing the total so far this year to 94.

Officials also say paramedics and the Delaware State Police responded to several overdoses in New Castle County in a span of less than eight hours Tuesday.

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There have been 41 arrests in a year-long undercover operation against drug trafficking in Crisfield.

Police Chief Michael Tabor the arrests were made by more than 100 hundred officers from the town and other law enforcement agencies.

WBOC reports that a deep undercover officer was able to buy heroin and opioids from a number of dealers throughout the town.

He said that many of those transactions were caught on video.

Mayor Kim Lawson said that the number of arrests were staggering for a community of only 27-hundred.

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Tomorrow is “Drug Take Back Day” in Delaware for those who want to discard unused or expired prescriptions.

People will be able to drop off the drugs as 21 designated locations ranging from drug stores and law enforcement offices to medical centers.

They may be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The program is offered twice a year and is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia state government has a new website designed to help battle opioid and heroin addiction.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday the creation of VaAware.com , which he said was an informational tool for the public, health care practitioners and law enforcement officials.

Opioid deaths in Virginia have risen dramatically in recent years. In 2015, there were 801 deaths, a nearly 50 percent increase since 2012.

The website was recommended by McAuliffe's newly created task force on prescription drug and heroin abuse.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - New Castle County officials are hosting a free, public training session in the use of a nasal spray that can reverse overdoses of heroin and other opioid drugs.

Officials say no advance registration is required for the Narcan training, which will be held next Thursday evening following a Heroin Alert program at the Paul Sweeney Public Safety Building on DuPont Highway.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The drug fentanyl caused more deaths in Virginia last year than any other prescription painkiller.

The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that the number of deaths caused by fentanyl rose from 48 in 2007 to 134 in 2014. Last year, the death was linked to an estimated 221 deaths in the state.

That's more than any other opioid besides heroin.

Fentanyl is prescribed by doctors and comes in a patch that's placed on the skin. Addicts have learned to isolate the drug from the patch and snort or inject the drug.

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EDGEWOOD, Md. (AP) - Sen. Ben Cardin is joining local medical and behavioral health practitioners to talk about Maryland's epidemic of opioid addiction.

They will be joined by law enforcement officials on Monday for the discussion in Edgewood.

Participants will talk about how people get addicted and discuss approaches to treatment during the roundtable discussion.

Cardin says some parts of Maryland have the highest per capita rates of heroin and opioid drug use in the country.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's emergency rooms are seeing a dramatic spike this year in the number of patients seeking treatment for heroin overdoses.

Data provided by the Virginia Department of Health shows that the state's emergency departments reported nearly 500 visits in the first four months of 2016 with heroin overdose as the primary complaint or discharge diagnosis.

That's roughly two-and-a half times the number of emergency department visits for heroin overdoses reported over the same period last year.

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GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) - Authorities say a two-year investigation into a southern Delaware drug distribution ring has netted charges against 13 people and the seizure of roughly three pounds of heroin. 

Officials said Tuesday that 13 law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation.

Authorities allege that 31-year-old Deangelo McGlotten of Felton was the ring leader of the drug distribution network, and that the illegal proceeds were being laundered by 37-year-old Salman Choudhary of Georgetown through casinos, businesses, and personal properties. 

Dover Police Report Out

May 12, 2016

The Dover police released their March report which found it had seized a dramatic amount of heroin that month.

WBOC reports that the Dover PD took in 743 grams of heroin in March as well as 270 grams of cocaine and 563 grams of marijuana.

Meanwhile, the number of calls received had increased by 2-thousand over the same time last year standing at a total of 10-thousand.

The television station says the report also found that most of the burglaries have been solved this year while the number of car crashes remained steady.

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The Worcester County authorities say over the last 8 months they have made or issued 61 arrests or arrest warrants for drug violations.

In addition, a new report says that the arrests prevented” common nuisance crimes” that result from illegal drug activity.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the investigative effort known as Operation Street Sweeper was aimed at stemming an escalating drug problem.

The report said this would not be the last such effort which was conducted in conjunction with the Ocean City Narcotics Division.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell is signing legislation to create a state commission that will review drug overdose deaths in Delaware.

The Drug Overdose Fatality Review Commission being established with Thursday's bill signing is similar to commissions the state already has in place to review child deaths and deaths of domestic violence victims.

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Local leaders in Wicomico County and Salisbury gathered this week to figure out how to combat rising heroin and opiod addiction rates.

Just this week the county council voted to fund a program called Community Outreach Addiction Team that uses peer counselors to help those with addiction.

Among the attendees were law enforcement officials Sheriff Mike Lewis, County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello and Salisbury Police Chief Barbara Duncan as well as political leaders County Executive Bob Culver and Mayor Jake Day.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan is allocating more money for education and heroin treatment.

Hogan on Thursday announced $13.8 million in additional one-time K-12 funding, including $12.7 million for Baltimore. It also includes $46.2 million for higher education. There is $4.7 million for the new student services support building at Morgan State University and $1.3 million to renovate a science building at Coppin State University.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Law enforcement officials plan to announce an initiative to deal with the heroin problem in Virginia's Tidewater region.

U.S. Attorney Dana Boente (BEN'-tay) and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring will be joined by other federal, state and local officials at the news conference Tuesday morning at the federal courthouse in Norfolk.

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan wants to up the penalties for drug trafficking and tighten the state’s program that monitors prescription drugs.

One measure would bring the state’s anti-gang statute more in line with the federal racketeering law.

The second measure would make the prescription drug monitoring program mandatory in identifying and investigating drug abuse.

In his statement the governor said he wanted to bring the various stakeholders together in the fight against the increasing phenomena of heroin and opioid addiction.


BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland health officials have issued an order allowing pharmacists to dispense a heroin overdose antidote without a prescription.

Officials said Monday that the order is intended to help combat the state's heroin and opioid abuse epidemic.

The antidote, Naloxone, is a prescription medication that can reverse overdoses related to opioids, which include heroin and prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Police Officer William Porter is set to face a jury in the first trial stemming from the death of Freddie Gray.

Court spokeswoman Terri Charles says the 12 jurors will be seated Wednesday in Baltimore Circuit Court. She says opening statements also could be heard Wednesday.

The prospective jurors are from a pool of 150 questioned Monday and Tuesday by Judge Barry Williams, mostly out of public view.

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The Maryland Governor’s task force on the heroin epidemic has handed in its recommendations which includes a needle exchange program.

In addition, the panel calls for the stepping up treatment programs as well as providing support services for pregnant women with substance abuse problems.

The panel also recommended legislation that would require prescribers and dispensers of drugs to register with and use the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program...for drugs containing an opiod or benzodiazephine.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland task force on fighting heroin addiction is scheduled to release its final recommendations.

The report is set to be released Tuesday.

The task force was created by Gov. Larry Hogan in February. It is comprised of 11 members with expertise in substance abuse, treatment and law enforcement.

The panel has been working to improve public awareness, access to treatment and quality of care. It also has been looking at alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug abusers and law enforcement coordination.

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SALISBURY, Md. (AP) - Maryland State Police have arrested a man and recovered heroin after a two-state chase.

Troopers say after identifying a suspect in heroin distribution, officers saw the man in a car a parking lot in Salisbury, Maryland, about 4 p.m. Monday.

Authorities say the man put his car in reverse and hit a police car, with a trooper inside. Police say the man drove forward toward another officer, who jumped out of the way.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Officials say deaths in Virginia from heroin and opioid use outnumbered highway fatalities for the first time last year.

Multiple media outlets report that in 2014, 728 Virginians died from drug overdoses. That same year, there were 700 highway fatalities.

Highway deaths have been dropping as drug deaths increase. The highway death toll in 2013 was 741 compared with 661 from drugs. In 2009, there were 750 traffic fatalities compared with 504 deaths from heroin and opioids.

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Tomorrow is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Maryland State Police in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the state police barracks to receive the drugs.

The goal of the program is to give people a chance to dispose of their prescription drugs safely.

Maryland has seen an increasing rate of drug addiction and overdoses that stems from prescriptions and many times ends up with heroin use.

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Last night heroin addiction brought out around fifty family members and elected officials in a candlelight vigil at the Salisbury Riverwalk Park. They were parents, spouses and siblings who talked of their struggles and their determination to fight what has become the rising use of heroin and other drugs.

The vigil was sponsored by the group Shoulder to Shoulder to Beat Heroin Addiction.

City Council Vice President Laura Mitchell whose loved one has been fighting addiction took center stage breaking down at times as she urged the community fight the deadly epidemic.

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The rise in heroin addiction has led more than 200 parents and family members to come out tonight for a candlelight vigil at the Salisbury Riverwalk Park at 5:30 p.m. tonight (9/16).

Many have lost loved ones to the epidemic or have loved ones who are still battling their addiction.

Among those in attendance tonight will be City Council Vice President Laura Mitchell whose loved one has been battling heroin.

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There’s a new methadone clinic in Easton.

The Chesapeake Treatment Services opened just last week and is aimed at fighting the rising use of heroin on the Lower Shore.

Those who are addicted to heroin or other opiates will be able to receive the drug to deal with the cravings without the side effects.

The founder Dr. David Hill told WBOC that the clinic will also include therapy for each patient.

And the clinic has gotten a nod from the Easton police who say that given the drug problem it is good to have new treatment options.

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TIMONIUM, Md. (AP) - Police say a ride operator at the Maryland State Fair has been found dead in her trailer at the fairgrounds in Baltimore County.

Baltimore County police say emergency crews were called to the fairgrounds in Timonium on Friday night for a report of an overdose.

Police said Monday that after 22-year-old Amanda Bradley of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, didn't show up at her assigned ride on Friday, a supervisor found her slumped over inside her trailer.  Bradley was taken to Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

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The Delaware Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal against a former death row inmate by prosecutors.

They say a judge made a mistake in not allowing a videotaped confession by Jermaine Wright in the 1991 murder of liquor store clerk.

That confession had been the key piece of evidence that led to his death sentence but was suppressed by a judge earlier this year.

That decision allowed Wright to go free.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that at issue is whether he was read his Miranda rights and that he was on heroin.

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In the fight against heroin addiction the Delaware Attorney General want to slash the cost of the drug’s anti-dote.

Delaware officials say 10 lives have been saved this year since the antidote Naloxone for heroin overdoses was put in the pockets of officers in the Ocean View, Middletown and New Castle County police departments.

These included a 35 year old Wilmington man who was found unconscious by his roommate and a 32- year old woman in Ocean View who was given it twice within a 10 hour period.