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Hogan releases heroin PSA with House of Cards actor

Gov. Larry Hogan urged parents to talk to their children about heroin abuse Thursday, launching a new public awareness campaign dubbed "Before It's Too Late" that features House of Cards actor Michael Kelly.

The Republican governor's office released a pair of videos, which were posted online and are scheduled to run on local television stations. In the longer of the two, Kelly steps out from behind a podium on the Netflix show's set and greets Hogan.

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"As an actor, sometimes I play a character that has to deal with addiction, but that addiction ends with the word 'cut,'" Kelly says. "We're here to tell to you about a harsh reality that is having a devastating effect on our nation and in Maryland."

"This addiction is destroying families and lives. The Governor and I urge you to speak with your kids about the importance of this issue."

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In House of Cards, Kelly's character, Doug Stamper, is a recovering alcoholic and devious fixer for an ambitious politician. The show was largely filmed in Maryland.

Hogan has been ramping up his efforts battle heroin and prescription pill abuse in the state, an epidemic that forthcoming data is expected to show claimed 2,000 lives last year.

"This epidemic affects people of all walks of life, and opioid abuse is becoming more and more common among our youth," Hogan said in a statement. "It is critical that parents talk to their children about the dangers of heroin and opioid abuse — before it's too late."

Hogan on Wednesday announced $10 million a year in new funding to help tackle the problem and formally declared it a state of emergency.

The General Assembly is weighing more than two dozen bills containing ideas to help address the crisis.

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