Reports from the first quarter of 2020 show a 2.6% increase in overdose deaths compared to the first quarter of 2019.
According to the recently released overdose data, Prince George’s County saw the greatest increase in deaths, more than double the amount of the previous year. Fentanyl was involved in the largest portion of opioid overdose deaths — 93.2%.
The Washington Post reports:
State officials said the isolation, unemployment and economic stress wrought by the pandemic are three key risk factors for substance abuse. And because the pandemic has disproportionately killed and sickened people of color, state officials overseeing the opioid response say they are “deeply concerned” that an acceleration of the drug epidemic could occur in minority communities too.
The article notes that the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) released an overdose action plan to respond to the increase in overdose deaths while grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information:
Overdose deaths in Maryland climb amid pandemic, prompting new approach (The Washington Post)