Drug and Alcohol Deaths Continue to Spike in Maryland During Pandemic

Source: 2020 Second Quarter Report

Quarterly data released from the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) shows a continued increase in drug and alcohol deaths in the state — an increase which has been tied to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

The data released by the OOCC and MDH includes preliminary reports from January – June of 2020 and shows a nine percent increase in overdose deaths compared to the same time period in 2019. State officials point to the pandemic as driving the increase in substance misuse and overdose deaths.

From the joint OOCC and MDH press release:

There were 1,326 unintentional intoxication deaths from all types of drugs and alcohol reported in Maryland during the first two quarters of 2020. This figure is a 9.1 percent increase from the 1,215 intoxication deaths reported in the first half of 2019. Opioids were involved in 1,187 intoxication deaths during this timeframe, representing almost 90 percent of all such fatalities and an increase of 9.4 percent when compared to the same period last year.

The 2020 Second Quarter Report provides a breakdown of deaths and overdoses by jurisdiction:

All 24 local jurisdictions in Maryland reported opioid-related intoxication fatalities in the first six months of 2020. Baltimore City (427 deaths), Baltimore County (176 deaths), and Anne Arundel County (101 deaths) experienced the highest number of fatalities, collectively accounting for 59.3 percent of all opioid-related deaths in Maryland. Other jurisdictions that reported large numbers of opioid-related fatalities include Prince George’s County (87 deaths), Washington County (57 deaths), Montgomery County (51 deaths), and Cecil County (43 deaths).

For more information:

Opioid Operational Command Center, Department of Health Release Opioid and Intoxication Fatality Data for Second Quarter of 2020 (press release)

2020 Second Quarter Report – April 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020 (OOCC)