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Sun coverage: Maryland's heroin problem

Read recent coverage of heroin addiction and recovery in Maryland.

Maryland clinics receive $1.8 million to treat heroin, opioid addicts

Calling the rising numbers of heroin- and opioid fatalities a public health crisis, federal officials are giving 271 clinics a total of $94 million to provide addicts with medication-assisted treatment. Of that, nearly $1.8 million is going to five clinics in Maryland.

Heroin creates crowded illicit economy in Baltimore

In Baltimore, where heroin has a long entrenched history, the drug has created a thriving sub-economy, providing funds for dealers who buy mansions in the suburbs, or simply help family members with rent and grocery money.

Amid shift in drug strategy, police bust Northwest Baltimore heroin operation

The bust of the mid-level dealer in the 4900 block of Greenspring Ave. was a testament to the power of community cooperation with police, they said. It was also in line with a broader shift in the department's drug strategy in the wake of the city's most violent year on record, wherein the department is redirecting its "limited resources" away from low-level, low-yield street arrests and toward drug operations with a nexus to violence and a reputation for inducing fear.

Baltimore offers one crisis line for substance use and mental health

Trained professionals to man new, consolidated Baltimore hotline for those in crisis.

Rutherford: 'Probably never going to be enough' money to fix Maryland's heroin problem

Saying there likely would never be enough money to fix Maryland's rising heroin overdose problem, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said Tuesday that a state task force studying the issue is recommending an expansion of treatment and prevention efforts that can at least begin to address the problem.

Baltimore to get more federal help on heroin overdoses

The Baltimore-Washington area will participate in a $2.5 million White House initiative announced Monday to combat a persistent rise in heroin deaths over recent years.

Congresswoman advocates for heroin overdose antidote access

Congresswoman Donna Edwards, D-Prince George's, held a roundtable discussion in Severna Park Friday to discuss heroin and her bill to make a grant program for distributing naloxone, a medicine that can reserve a heroin overdose, more widely available.

Harford County receives grant to expand anti-heroin outreach

Harford County will expand its effort to fight heroin use among younger teenagers, thanks to a new burst of funding from the state.

  • Maryland
A heroin addict's path to sobriety

After a long struggle to beat his heroin addiction, Edgewater resident Alex Rubley got clean with the help of Anne Arundel County's Drug Court program

Frosh, Cummings press for reduced price on heroin overdose drug

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is asking the maker of a heroin overdose drug to lower its prices for government agencies, a copy of a letter made public on Thursday shows.

Baltimore's heroin task force wants 24-hour treatment options to stem overdoses

To stem the growing heroin addiction rates and overdose deaths, a panel convened by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to unveil on Monday a $20 million proposal that includes around-the-clock treatment options.

Rising cost of overdose treatment drug alarms city

Baltimore officials are alarmed at nearly a fourfold jump so far this year in the cost of a drug used to save the lives of people who have overdosed on heroin, bringing a call for state and federal action.

Deaths from fentanyl-laced heroin surge

Baltimore health officials, alarmed by the biggest surge in overdose deaths the city has seen in years, announced a campaign Monday to tell heroin users that the drug they buy on the street could contain the much more potent painkiller fentanyl.

New Life Evangelical Baptist launches construction for new church, expanded heroin clinic

Dozens of supporters and members of New Life Evangelical Baptist Church gathered Tuesday across the street from the E. North Avenue sanctuary to break ground on a new church and drug treatment center.

'Harford County kids are trying [heroin] at age 11,' new billboards warn

Motorists in the Benson and Edgewood areas of Harford County drive by two new billboards that are advertising a foreboding message. The billboards show a young boy with a backpack, alongside a syringe and other drug paraphernalia. A bright-red warning reads, "Talk to your kids before heroin does," while smaller text says: "Harford County kids are trying drugs at age 11."

State grants $500,000 for drug treatment in jails

The Hogan administration said Tuesday that it is granting $500,000 to programs in county jails to treat inmates with a non-narcotic, nonaddictive medicine that it hopes will help wean them off heroin and related drugs.

Heroin deaths continuing to rise in Maryland

Heroin continued to take a rising toll in Maryland, where 578 people died from overdoses of the drug in 2014, more than double the number in 2010, according to a new report by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Hogan agrees to spend $2 million to fight heroin

Gov. Larry Hogan committed Thursday to spending $2 million on fighting heroin addiction, the first time he has agreed to spend any of a controversial $200 million pot of cash that has stirred discord in Annapolis.

Heroin task force addressing age-old Baltimore issue

Maryland's new heroin task force met Wednesday in Baltimore, seeking input on how to address an addiction and overdose crisis that has spread throughout the state. But for many participants, the problem is not a new one.

Baltimore County family struggles with impact of heroin's grip

Three Baltimore County brothers — Adam, Brandon and Cameron — have fought against heroin. One died, another broke free of the drug's grip, and the third is still caught up in addiction.

Families, advocates and addicts tell state heroin task force their stories

A fisherman using pain medication for a sore back. High school students smoking pot. An alcoholic and a cocaine user experimenting with a new drug — these are some of the people in Cecil and surrounding counties who eventually found their way to heroin.

DEA chief discusses Maryland's heroin problem at Senate hearing

The chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration highlighted Maryland's heroin problem during a Senate committee hearing Thursday.

Hogan wades into Maryland's long battle against heroin

With the creation of two panels devoted to combating heroin use, Gov. Larry Hogan has waded into a worsening crisis — one that has defied solutions for decades. Statewide deaths have climbed each year since 2010 and could top 500 when figures for 2014 are finalized. The problem also appears to have taken on troubling new dimensions, with growing numbers of addicts in suburban and rural areas.

Hogan unveils plan to fight heroin

Gov. Larry Hogan unveiled what he called a holistic strategy to deal with Maryland's growing heroin problems Tuesday, but stopped short of declaring the "state of emergency" he vowed to institute after last year's election.

Supporters of mental health, drug treatment providers rally for funds

Supporters of mental health, drug treatment providers rally for funds

Maryland joins multistate task force to combat heroin

Calling heroin a crisis that crosses state boundaries, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said Thursday that his office will join counterparts in the Northeast to share information and jointly prosecute drug traffickers.

As heroin abuse rises, Harford educators say new approaches needed

Faced with the realities of an estimated 5 percent of Maryland high school freshmen having tried heroin and police in Harford County having investigated 17 overdoses on the drug in six weeks, public school officials in the county say they're working to keep on top of, and curb, drug abuse trends.

Overdose patients end up repeatedly in hospital

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced a new initiative Monday that would offer rehab services and drug education to these patients – many who will wind up in the hospital again. Doctors could also prescribe patients with the drug naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug.

City adjusts estimate for heroin users

Baltimore officials have again adjusted the estimated number of heroin users in the city — to nearly 19,000, up from 11,000.

Mayor appoints task force to study heroin, substance abuse

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake plans to announce a new task force Wednesday that will spend the next nine months studying heroin and substance abuse in Baltimore and developing ideas for the city to better coordinate treatment options.

Trying to prevent heroin deaths one shot at a time

Maryland health officials, desperate to stem an 88 percent rise in heroin overdose deaths in recent years, have launched an initiative to put naloxone into the hands of addicts, their families, police and other nonmedical personnel.

Harford heroin epidemic gets national attention

No longer are prescription pills the drug of choice in Harford County. It's heroin, and it's dangerous, Harford's top drug enforcement officers say. And after 18 months to two years of increasing heroin overdoses and deaths, those officers say the numbers are starting to level out and hopefully will be on the decline

'Drugs, Inc.' look at heroin in Baltimore substitutes reality TV for documentary filmmaking

I took a deep dive last week into Baltimore's drug scene. And when I finally came up for air, I had a newfound clarity on the city¿s troubled TV image and the line between responsible documentary filmmaking and exploitative reality television.

Maker of opioid overdose antidote challenged on cost

Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and another U.S. lawmaker sent a letter to the drug company that produces an antidote to heroin overdose that has been jumping in price as more police and health departments use it.

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