Drug Overdose Deaths have Declined in Maryland
In the last two years, officials locally and across the country have been allocating any and all extra resources to combat the opioid epidemic since drug overdoses were declared a public health emergency. Recently, we have seen a small amount of progress in the state of Maryland.
There has been a 15 percent drop in the number of overdose deaths in 15 Maryland counties, including Baltimore City. The total number of deaths is still extremely high considering 577 people in the first three months of 2019 is more than six people dying a day, but the 15 percent drop is still promising and the first decline in deaths since 2010.
Last year, 2,385 people died due to drug overdose in the state of Maryland alone. Many believe that the spike in deaths is due to the cheaper and more dangerous drug, fentanyl. Many users initially don’t know if they are using fentanyl, because it is commonly mixed with heroin, which in turn causes users to overdose due to the higher potency. Public health and law enforcement officials have warned the public that fentanyl has almost entirely replaced heroin in the street-drug supply. Overdose death is preventable, and help is always available. Just because overdose has declined in the past three months, doesn’t mean you are safe. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, the safest and most effective way to get clean and sober is entering treatment.