ANNAPOLIS, Md. - In Maryland, 378 people died from heroin overdose in 2012 -- an increase from 245 deaths in 2011, according to a release.
The uptick in heroin-related deaths spurred a call to action from U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein for parents and teachers to be more vigilant about drug education. The comments were made a regional drug abuse symposium held in Annapolis Tuesday. The purpose of the symposium is to develop programs and strategies to address the surge in heroin abuse.
"Heroin is one of the leading causes of death in Maryland, and some victims are teenagers who start by taking oxycodone and similar prescription drugs from their parents' medicine cabinets," Rosenstein was quoted saying in the release. "In 2012, more Marylanders died of heroin than murder. It is essential to treat drug addiction as a communicable disease that is preventable. Today I call on parents and teachers to help to prevent drug abuse by teaching children about the dangers of drug addiction and how to avoid it."
There were 761 drug overdose deaths that were reported in Maryland in 2012, the release states.
The Baltimore/Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area hosted the symposium, which brought together key law enforcement, prevention and treatment professionals from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia as well as four surrounding HIDTAs: Appalachia, Philadelphia/Camden, New York, New Jersey, and New England, the release states.