The Opioid Operational Command Center’s 2019 third-quarter report found an overall slight decline in opioid deaths. However, while some areas in the state saw declines other saw there overdose numbers increase. The bottom line is the work to battle the opioid crisis must continue.
From the third-quarter report:
Between January and September 2019, there were 1,574 opioid-related fatalities in Maryland. These fatalities accounted for 88.7 percent of the 1,774 total intoxication deaths in the same nine-month period. While these figures indicate that there was a 4.8 percent decline in the number of opioid-related fatalities when comparing the first nine months of 2019 to the same period in 2018, the decline was not as sharp as the 11.1 percent decline that the state experienced when comparing the first halves of the same years. This reminds us that we are engaged in a battle with an opponent that will only be defeated through sustained and aggressive action. Put simply, we must continue our work.
According to the preliminary numbers, Anne Arundel County saw the biggest decline in opioid overdose deaths during the period, with 137 deaths. That’s 41 fewer deaths than in 2018. In Prince George’s County, deaths decreased from 67 to 65. Howard County saw 23 deaths, down four from the previous year.
Not all places saw decreases: In Montgomery County, the number of people who died of opioid overdoses rose to 66 people, compared to 57 last year. Baltimore also saw a spike during the period, from 609 to 639 deaths.
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