Preliminary data from 2020 reveals a dramatic increase in deaths linked with opioids in Maryland, particularly fentanyl; health officials blame the pandemic.
The number of unintentional intoxication overdoses — those involving all drugs and alcohol — rose 18.7% to 2,773 in 2020 from 2,379 in 2019, according to data collected by the Maryland Department of Health.
In more than 90% of cases, opioids were detected in bodies postmortem, the highest rate recorded in the state’s history of collecting this data.
While too early to formally determine the extent to which COVID-19 has influenced this increase, experts agree the pandemic is likely to blame for the widespread increase in drug use.
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