While awareness and government efforts towards addressing the heroin epidemic have increased tremendously over the last few years, due in large part to the staggering number of overdoses both in Maryland and across the country, the epidemic shows no sign of slowing down.
Continued Devastation from Opiates
In fact, most counties in Maryland have continued to report massive numbers of overdoses and fatalities in 2016. In one case, an official for Howard County reported a 24-hour period that had six overdoses and three fatalities. An article in the Baltimore Sun release in June of this year reported that in the first three months of this year alone, there were 383 overdose deaths in Maryland (which shows only an increase from last year’s numbers, which totaled 1,259 fatalities by the end of 2015). Much of this can be attributed to the addition of the potent synthetic opiate, fentanyl, to countless batches of heroin. This has created a truly lethal game of russian roulette for heroin addicts, as there really is no telling exactly what is in each batch, and how potent it is.
A New Tactic Across Maryland
Earlier in the year, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced his plan to address the heroin epidemic and launched the Heroin Task Force. One key outcome of this task force was the allocation of considerable funds to counties that had been hit particularly hard by the heroin scourge. Counties are now using some of these funds to assign heroin coordinators as an official paid position to their police forces. These employees will be tasked with evaluating data following a response to opiate use, following up with addicts and their families, and attempting to connect overdose survivors with the best treatment options. This is encouraging, as it speaks to continued efforts to focus law enforcement responses on treatment versus incarceration. The state of Maryland is contributing $3 million towards heroin coordinator hires in 17 counties and the state police.
Don’t Let Overdose Be the End of Your Story
If you are struggling with an opiate addiction, there is still hope. Call the professionals at Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment, to see if inpatient treatment could save your life: 1-800-203-2024.