State officials release fatal overdose data so far in 2018


The Maryland Department of Health released data for unintentional drug and alcohol-related intoxicated deaths so far in 2018. 

From January through June of 2018, there were 1,325 unintentional intoxication deaths, a 12 percent increase since last year.  Of those deaths, 1,185 were opioid-related deaths in Maryland.  

According to the report, around 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2018 involved fentanyl. The overdose deaths involving fentanyl continue to increase at a disturbing rate.  

In Washington County, Maryland, there have been a total of 255 overdoses, and 49 of them were fatal. The annual death rate is around 19 percent.  

“The reason being is that there is prevalence of fentanyl. If you also look at our data in June we had 7 [overdoses]. In August, we had one and that was because there was a major drug bust,” said Vickie Sterling, Director of Behavioral Health

Cocaine-related deaths also are on the rise. Health officials report the numbers continue to rise about of people are mixing cocaine with opioids. However, heroin and prescription opioid-related deaths have decline, around 20 percent comparing it to last year.  

Officials attribute that to keep the conversation going to fight back against the epidemic.  

“Giving a larger and a wide variety of services and giving more options… I think that is what it going to help in the state and in our county,” said Sterling. 

To find the full report, click here

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