KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Despite Efforts To Curb Epidemic, Overdose Deaths Hitting New Peaks

Fentanyl continues to play a major role in the crisis.

The Wall Street Journal: Overdose Fatalities From Opioids Hit New Peaks
The U.S. opioid crisis shows no sign of receding as a new year begins, with the latest data from several hard-hit cities and states showing overdose fatalities reaching new peaks as authorities scramble to stem the tide. The synthetic opioid fentanyl, which has up to 50 times the potency of heroin, remains the chief culprit driving the increase in fatalities, according to medical examiners and health and law-enforcement authorities in abuse hot spots, such as Ohio, Maryland and New England. (Kamp, 1/6)

The Baltimore Sun: Opioid Users Filling Maryland Hospital Beds And Emergency Rooms 
Maryland has the nation's highest rate of hospitalizations for opioid use, according to newly released federal data that illustrates the depth of the addiction problem in a state where many people have died from overdoses of the drugs. Tens of thousands of people are admitted to state hospitals or visit an emergency room each year related to opioid withdrawal, overdose or complication, according a decade's worth of statistics provided by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (Cohn, 1/6)

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