Pandemic interrupts progress from 2019 as the number of opioid-related deaths rise in Maryland

Maryland

MARYLAND (WDVM) — Substance abuse kills 8 people a day in the state of Maryland.

The Opioid Operational Command Center and the Maryland Department of Health have released their 2020 Annual Report on the opioid crisis in Maryland. The report found that between January and December of 2020, there were 2,773 unintentional intoxication deaths, which is a 16.6% increase from the previous year. Opioids were involved in 90.1% of all substance use-related intoxication fatalities in 2020. and of that number 93 percent of all opioid-related deaths included fentanyl.

Officials say it was because the pandemic forced people to isolate which in return disrupted treatment and recovery support systems. The states before it’s too late campaign looks to shed some light on an issue that plagued this country.

“We are facing two public health crises right now,” said Steve Schuh, executive director of the OOCC. “One isn’t getting much visibility, but it’s raging behind the scenes, and when COVID is gone, this one will be with us and we need to continue to focus every imaginable resource to bring the suffering to an end from this awful disease.”

Help is always available. If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, call the state crisis hotline 211 and press 1.

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