Maryland Opioid Deaths Decline in First Quarter of 2019

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The Maryland Department of Health and Opioid Operational Command Center has released it’s 2019 first quarter reports, showing a decline in unintentional intoxication deaths and heroin-related deaths.

From January through March 2019, there were 577 total unintentional intoxication deaths, a 15 percent decreased compared to the same period last year. 515, or 89 percent were opioid related deaths, primarily attributed to fentanyl. Opioid-related deaths declined by 14.3 percent. Heroin-related deaths declined by 23 percent in the first quarter, with prescription opioid deaths declining by 16 percent. Fentanyl deaths were down 8 percent and cocaine deaths decreased by 21 percent.

Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall said “We’ve seen a decrease in deaths during this first quarter and continue to work diligently to combat this epidemic.”

OOCC Executive Director Steve Schuh said “We also are encouraged by the fact that 16 of Maryland’s 24 local jurisdictions experienced declines in the number of opioid-related fatalities during the first quarter of 2019.” The OOCC tracks more than 170 state-level performance metrics pertaining to opioid-related programs being implemented by various state agencies and additional state government partners.