Maryland opioid-related deaths dropped in first half of 2019

In 2017, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency as part of Maryland’s efforts to deal with the opioid crisis.

In 2017, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency as part of Maryland’s efforts to deal with the opioid crisis.

More than two years later, a new report shows those efforts appear to be working.

  • Opioid-related deaths dropped 11.1% in the first half of 2019 — from 1,193 to 1,060 — compared with the same period a year before, according to the state’s Health Department and Opioid Operational Command Center.
  • Unintentional intoxication deaths totaled 1,182, a decrease of 11.3% from the first half of 2018, when they totaled 1,332.
  • Heroin-related deaths were down by 14.9% during the same period, from 471 to 401.
  • Prescription opioid deaths were down by 3.5%, from 202 to 195.
  • Fentanyl-related deaths, too, were down by 7.8% compared with the year before, from 1,043 to 962.

“Though the continued decline in fatal overdoses is welcome news, the heroin and opioid epidemic remains a crisis and we will continue to respond with all the tools at our disposal,” Hogan said in a statement.

Knocking down those numbers even further will involve targeting fentanyl. Of all opioid-related deaths during the first half of 2019, it was involved in 90.8% of them, according to the report.