2015 was a record year in Anne Arundel county- but not for something positive. The number of of heroin and opioid overdoses this year have surpassed the numbers for the past two years combined.
Record Numbers of Overdoses in Anne Arundel
This past week, the Anne Arundel county police chief revealed some shocking numbers in a phone interview with the Capital Gazette. There have been 108 overdose deaths this year (compared to 44 and 43 in the prior two years). Total overdoses have risen 145% from last year- 837 fatal and non-fatal overdoses combined. While awareness and prevention efforts have increased, so have the number of overdoses- highlighting the need for continued and increased efforts for fighting the addiction epidemic. These numbers are staggering- nearly two overdoses per day for an entire year, in just one county. The police chief did note that part of the discrepancy could be better reporting by officers and emergency response teams, as a part of heightened efforts by law enforcement to crack down on addiction and a renewed focus on heroin. Further, the rise of highly potent synthetic opiates like fentanyl have created a storm of risk for drug addicts, exponentially increasing the odds of overdose since users have no idea how potent their drugs are. Opiate use has become a dangerous gamble, a roll of the dice that many users don’t consider when pursuing the next high. The police chief estimates that much of the supply of these drugs comes from as far as Philadelphia and New York, in addition to neighboring Baltimore, and notes a corresponding increase in gang activity and violence in the county. While there have been huge increases in both treatment and prevention efforts, which have helped many people in need of recovery, and the Good Samaritan laws have likely cut down on the number of fatal overdoses, constant vigilance is required on the part of both citizens and law enforcement officers in order to keep up with the destructive force of opioids.
Help is Available
If you or someone you know is struggling with an opiate addiction, inpatient treatment may be a necessary step towards recovery. Call the treatment professionals at Serenity Acres today for your free confidential assessment: 1-800-203-2024.