From its beautiful waterways and mountains to its expansive coastlines, Maryland boasts a landscape that continues to attract both residents and visitors alike. However, this otherwise peaceful environment is often marred by the high rates of substance abuse and addiction among its residents.
Alcohol and drug abuse and addiction can be damaging. The most serious threat that they pose in Maryland as in the rest of the United States, however, is overdose. This is because an overdose can lead to death.
In 2016, for instance, the state lost a total of 2,089 lives to an incident involving alcohol or drugs - or a combination of both. This was an increase of more than 156 percent from the 815 fatalities that were reported back in 2007.
Opioids were responsible for the highest number of deaths during this period. They were followed closely by other classes of drugs and intoxicating substances, including but not limited to alcohol, benzodiazepines, and cocaine.
Although this problem is being witnessed across the state, there are a number of regions that seem to have been hit hardest. They include Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City.
The overdose deaths linked to drugs also increased among people above the age of 55 years. Within this age group, 86 deaths were reported in 2010. They rose to 424 deaths by 2016.
The substances that were linked to the highest number of death in the state in 2016 were both in the opioid class of drugs. They included fentanyl and heroin. That year, opioids were linked to 89 percent of the total number of drug related deaths reported in Maryland.
This number has made the state rank among the top 5 in the United States in terms of the total death rate related to opioid drugs. Further, this rate has always been above the total national average since 1999 and it has more than quadrupled since the last data that was released in 2010.
In 2016, the state lost a total of 1,856 lives due to an opioid related incident. Of this number, 1,212 fatalities were linked to heroin - a rise of more than 203 percent from the 399 deaths that were reported in 2007.
1,119 of these deaths were linked to fentanyl - which was an increase of over 4203 percent from the 26 fentanyl related deaths reported back in 2007. Another 418 deaths were associated with a prescription opioid pain relief medication. This was an increase of over 38 percent from the 302 deaths reported in 2007.
However, prescription opioid pain relief medications are not the only legal substances that people abuse in the state. In particular, many of these residents abuse ADHD prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin, as well as benzodiazepines such as Xanax and Valium.
To overcome your substance use disorder as well as reduce and eventually eliminate the risk of losing your life to a drug overdose or any other substance related incident, it is recommended that you seek help. This type of help can be found at the many licensed and accredited addiction treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery centers that are scattered all across the state of Maryland.