Local Health Officials Weigh In On Heroin Prevention - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Local Health Officials Weigh In On Heroin Prevention

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WICOMICO CO., Md. - State and federal officials recently made steps to hopefully put a stop to the rising number of overdose deaths related to opioid abuse.

Thursday, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill granting criminal immunity to anyone that reports an alcohol or drug overdose, even if the person seeking help is the one under the influence.

Then, on Friday, a drug claiming to reverse opioid overdoses was approved by the FDA, but local health officials don't think legislation goes far enough to stop the epidemic.

"We don't have an effective hook of bringing people into treatment.  So, some people have overdosed multiple times and paramedics bring them in, or treat them, and then they refuse to go into treatment," says Dr. James Cockey with the Wicomico Co. Health Department.

According to the latest data, on Maryland's Eastern Shore, opioid death from heroin and prescription drugs was up 63 to 59 between 2011 and 2010.

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