County Executive Marc Elrich commented on the recent rise in the use of fentanyl among youth in Montgomery County at his weekly briefing on Wednesday.
He said a 15-year-old died from an overdose earlier this month.
Elrich said an additional 38 people would have died since December if not for Narcan, a medicine that counteracts an opioid overdose.
During a press conference last week, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and public safety leaders said use of opioids, particularly fentanyl, is on the rise among youth in the county.
According to data shared by MCPS, as of last Thursday, 11 youths under the age of 21 died from opioid overdose in 2022, a 120% increase since 2021, when there were five fatal overdoses. There were 37 non-fatal overdoses among youth this year, a 68% increase from 2021. There were 48 total fatal and non-fatal youth overdoses last year, compared to 27 in 2021.
County Police Chief Marcus Jones said while there has been a decrease in overall opioid overdoses, numbers increased among youth last year.