Overdose Deaths in Maryland Top 2,000 for Second Year in a Row

Overdose - Hand with PillsThe Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) has released its annual report which includes preliminary data from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) on overdose deaths.

The bad news: 2018 was the second year in a row more than 2,000 Marylanders died of an overdose. The majority of deaths were attributed to fentanyl and deaths from cocaine are on the rise.

The good news: the total number of overdose deaths, 2,385, was only 5 percent higher than the number of deaths in 2017 indicating a slowing rate of deaths and some progress of stemming the epidemic.

The Baltimore Sun reports on the data noting that a number of counties saw increases in their overdose rates, a greater number saw a decrease:

The data show that Baltimore City and Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties suffered the most deaths in 2018, and the numbers rose in all three. Seven other jurisdictions also showed increases. Adjusted for population, Baltimore City and the rural counties of Cecil and Allegany had the highest numbers of overdose deaths last year.

There were 13 counties that logged drops in overdose deaths, with Prince George’s and Montgomery showing the biggest decreases.

An announcement from the OOCC about the release of the report provides some additional highlights, including:

Prevention and Education

  • The number of jurisdictions that have implemented information campaigns aimed at prevention and stigma reduction has increased by 118 percent, from 11 prior to March 2017 to 24 in 2018.
  • The number of jurisdictions that have implemented programs to increase employer support for individuals seeking treatment and those in recovery has increased by 550 percent, from 2 prior to March 2017 to 13 in 2018.
  • The number of jurisdictions that have implemented programs to support youth impacted by overdose or addiction in their homes has increased by 133 percent, from 6 prior to March 2017 to 14 in 2018.

For more information:

Opioid Operational Command Center Releases 2018 Annual Report (OOCC)

Fentanyl, cocaine push Maryland’s overdose fatalities to 2,385 in 2018; second year running number topped 2,000 (The Baltimore Sun)