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Annapolis Forum Addresses Growing Threat Of Heroin Abuse

U.S. Attorney Urges Parents and Teachers to Focus on Drug Prevention in 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14 , 2014

Baltimore, Maryland – In opening remarks at a regional drug abuse symposium held in Annapolis today, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein sounded the alarm about a surge in drug overdose deaths and addiction and called on parents and teachers to “teach every student, from first grade through twelfth grade, about the horrible consequences of using heroin and other debilitating addictive drugs.”

“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,” said Mr. Rosenstein. “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.”

Maryland reported 378 heroin overdose deaths in 2012, an increase from 245 deaths in 2011. A total of 761 drug overdose deaths were reported in the state in 2012.

The symposium, hosted by the Baltimore/Washington High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (“HIDTA”) under the leadership of Executive Director Tom Carr, brings 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 purpose of the symposium is to raise awareness about the surge in heroin abuse, explain the relationship between heroin overdoses and the abuse of prescription drugs such as opioids, and develop programs and strategies to address the problem.

Further information about heroin and prescription drug abuse is available at www.justice.gov/dea . For more information about the HIDTA program, please visit www.hidta.org.

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