Annapolis, MD—Despite Larry Hogan’s promises that he would make tackling the opioid epidemic his “top priority” in office, data released by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today show that opioid deaths continue to spike under Larry Hogan. According to the data, fentanyl overdose deaths have increased by more than 750% under Hogan, and overall opioid overdose deaths have more than doubled.
MDH quietly released the statistics on 2017 opioid deaths under pressure from former NAACP President and Democratic candidate for governor Ben Jealous, who called on the Hogan administration to release the data earlier this week.
“The opioid epidemic is one of the most challenging public health crises of our time and it is clear that Larry Hogan’s incremental steps are not getting the job done,” said Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Fabion Seaton. “Ben Jealous has proposed a bold and innovative plan to take the opioid epidemic head-on, but Governor Hogan shouldn’t wait to implement these solutions, he should implement them now. Lives are at stake and time is of the essence.”
Last year, Jealous released his Enough is Enough plan, which will invest millions to increase access to the life-saving drug, Naloxone, and 24/7 crisis centers and outreach teams across Maryland. Jealous’ plan would also take a holistic approach to opioid treatment, including creating an Office of Pain Management, Addiction, and Recovery and empowering the Attorney General to hold opioid distributors and pill mills accountable.