Maryland’s opioid crisis is showing limited signs of abating with the latest report highlighting a record number of fentanyl-related deaths.
According to the report, published last week by the Maryland Department of Health, the number of drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths occurring in the state jumped 9 percent between 2016 and 2017, reaching a record high of 2,282. In fact, this is the seventh consecutive year of increases in the overall rate of substance-related deaths.
Baltimore Business Journal notes that “illegal and prescription opioids” are the primary causes of the opioid crisis in all 24 Maryland counties.
Though heroin-related deaths declined by 134 to 1,078 overall from 2016 in Maryland, fentanyl-related deaths continue to surge, increasing from 1,119 in 2016 to 1,594 in 2017, according to Maryland health officials. The agency’s statistics include deaths in 2017 and the first three months of 2018.
“While Maryland is starting to see a decline in heroin-related deaths, fentanyl-related deaths continue to rise in staggering numbers,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall in a statement.
Neall emphasized that Marylanders with an addiction problem need to “immediately seek treatment” and consult with officials about acquiring naloxone, a drug that is used to reverse an overdose from opioids.
Baltimore Business Journal said data from the first quarter of 2018 showed that there were 653 unintentional drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths across the state. There were 579 opioid-related deaths, 500 of which involved fentanyl.