Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Baltimore, Maryland
Even before the declared national Opioid Epidemic, Baltimore, Maryland, had been feeling the impact of Heroin abuse. Open air drug markets and overdoses plague the city. What’s even worse is that now Fentanyl has a stranglehold within the Baltimore drug market. Fentanyl and other synthetic Opioids are contaminating more and more drugs, people, and neighborhoods.
While there are limited treatment facilities in the immediate area, there are many in surrounding regions that specialize in various forms of addiction and abuse rehab and recovery services.
Baltimore: High Levels Of Fatal Overdoses
Maryland, as a whole, has unprecedented rates of death by Opioid overdose. In 2018, there was an estimated 25,000 residents in the city who were addicted to Heroin or other Opioids. With the onset (and continuation) of the COVID-19 pandemic, numbers of overdose deaths in Maryland and beyond are steadily rising. According to a recent state report, more than 2,700 Marylanders died of a drug overdose in 2020; 394 more fatalities than the previous year in 2019.
Of those 2,700 deaths, 2,499 were linked to Opioids—the vast majority (2,326 cases or 83.9%) being Fentanyl-induced. These steep increases reflect not only the danger the pandemic poses as people grapple with isolation and loneliness, but also the lethal potency of the substances being consumed. Baltimore saw an increase of 12.1% from 2019 to 2020 with 954 Opioid-induced deaths recorded compared with the 851 fatalities of 2019; officials say this was the highest number throughout the state.
The Rapid Rise Of Fentanyl In Baltimore
Along with being present in two-thirds of fatal Cocaine overdoses, Fentanyl is making its way into a large portion of other drugs that people are buying. While people could be buying this chemical intentionally, it is more likely that it is being cut with the street drugs people are buying. This is becoming a popular practice among dealers who want to keep their cost down and increase the potency of their drugs. However, dealers can’t accurately measure or mix Fentanyl due to its strength, which has led to a spike in deaths across the country.
Battling The Opioid Epidemic In Baltimore
The amount of deaths in Baltimore is not due to negligence. The city administered 13,082 Naloxone kits to combat individuals in the midst of an overdose in 2017. Naloxone is an Opioid antagonist that is used to stop someone’s overdose. Depending on the amount or concentration of Opioids used, it could take multiple injections of Naloxone to stop the effects. Drugs like Fentanyl, that are up to 100 times more potent than Heroin, could take a few shots of Naloxone before the harm of an overdose truly passes. These kits, typically costing around $75 a piece, have cost the city nearly $1 million. However, while they have saved lives, these kits are a band-aid. The only real solution to this crisis is recovery.
Baltimore Addiction Statistics
Maryland saw 2,700 fatal overdoses in 2020.
Fatal Opioid overdoses in Baltimore grew by 12.1% from 2019 to 2020.
Fentanyl was involved in more than 83.9% of all opioid-related deaths across Maryland.
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Find Treatment In Baltimore
If you, or a loved one, are suffering from addiction, do not be afraid to reach out. Addiction is more than just a disease, it can be a weight. It isn’t a typical sickness that can be easily treated, it can be a battle. The first step to fighting an addiction is realizing that you need help. Whether it is for you or someone else, reaching out could save someone’s life. For more information on treatment options, contact a treatment provider today.
Cooper Smith earned his Bachelor’s in Writing for Entertainment from Full Sail University. While he was initially interested in a career in television, he saw an issue in his community and felt compelled to do something more. Now, he uses his knowledge to reach out to people who may need help and make the public aware of issues we are facing as a society. When he isn’t behind a computer, Cooper travels somewhere new.
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- Baltimore City Health Department. (2017). Community Health Assessment. Retrieved July 30th, 2018 from https://health.baltimorecity.gov/sites/default/files/health/attachments/Baltimore%20City%20CHA%20-%20Final%209.20.17.pdf
- Baltimore City Health Department. (2016). Fentanyl Task Force. Retrieved July 30th, 2018 from https://health.baltimorecity.gov/Fentanyl
- Belt, Deb. (2018). Maryland Has One Of Highest Overdose Death Rates: CDC. Retrieved July 30th, 2018 from https://patch.com/maryland/annapolis/maryland-has-one-highest-overdose-death-rates-cdc
- CDC. (2018). Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids, Cocaine, and Psychostimulants — United States, 2015–2016. Retrieved July 30th, 2018 from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6712a1.htm?s_cid=mm6712a1_w#modalIdString_CDCTable_0
- McDaniels, Andrea K. (2018). Fentanyl Continues to Lead Record Opioid Deaths in Maryland. Retrieved July 30th, 2018 from http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-opioid-deaths-20180126-story.html#
- Reed, Kai. (2018). Baltimore City Short on Overdose Kits. Retrieved July 30th, 2018 from http://www.wbaltv.com/article/baltimore-city-short-on-overdose-kits/19749764
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. (2018). Combatting the opioid epidemic: Baltimore’s Experience and Lessons Learned. Retrieved on January 26, 2022 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6927887/
- Baltimore Sun. (2021). A Record Number of Fatal Overdoses Ravaged Maryland in 2020, ‘Exacerbated’ by COVID Pandemic, Report Shows https://www.baltimoresun.com/health/bs-hs-drug-overdose-2020-report-20210413-7c7e4owxfvaphkmxvjtox6uioy-story.html