Last week the Maryland Department of Health released their 2020 Unintentional Drug and Alcohol-Related Intoxication Deaths annual report which documented a significant increase in Overdose Fatality rates in 2020 when compared to overdose fatality rates in 2019.
This comes as devastating news to the state given that overdose deaths in 2019 were actually less than they were in 2018, leaving everyone hopeful that we would continue along that same downward trajectory.
In 2020, 2799 Marylanders lost their lives to overdoses, this is up from 2379 in 2018 which illustrates an 18% increase in overdose-related deaths.
Unfortunately, Wicomico County was one of the jurisdictions that saw an increase in overdose deaths when compared to 2019. Wicomico County had a total of 41 deaths in 2019, but this number increased to 47 in 2020, and of those 47, 39 were opioid-related.
“It is important to remember that no one is immune to the devastation of addiction, and although we are living during a pandemic that requires so much attention, we must also continue to keep working towards addressing the opioid epidemic that continues to ravage our communities,” says Christina Bowie-Simpson, Wicomico County Opioid Coordinator.
Wicomico County continues to address the epidemic by keeping prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement efforts at the forefront of both our minds, and our efforts.
The Wicomico County Safe Station which opened on 08/01/2019 continues to be an invaluable resource in our community by offering 24/7/365 access to treatment. It is located at 726 S. Salisbury Blvd in Salisbury.
Additionally, our COAT program which consists of peers in recovery, are available 24/7/365 for individuals seeking assistance.
Naloxone training also continues to be a priority for the county with the hope that lives will be saved by the utilization of this opioid-overdose reversal medication. Please call (410) 543-6981 to schedule your Narcan training today.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, you can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org or by calling 211 and pressing 1. You can also contact the Community Outreach Addiction Team (COAT) at 443-783-6875.
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