FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — While the Associated Press reported that the number of drug overdose deaths in the United States has stopped rising for the time being, some areas of Maryland are seeing figures trending in the opposite direction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were about 107,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. between July 2021 and June 2022. That’s 40 deaths fewer than a year before.
Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, released a statement, saying, in part: “Today’s data continue to show a hopeful trend of a decrease in overdose deaths, but more prevention and treatment work is needed.”
Maryland was down by 100 or more overdose deaths in the July 2021 to June 2022 time frame. At the county level, the numbers can tell a different story. That includes in Frederick County, which reported 44 overdose deaths from the beginning of the year through the end of October.
“The latest data that we have from our law enforcement partners throughout the county, it does look like the overdose deaths as of the end of October have, unfortunately, just surpassed all of the overdose deaths from the previous calendar year,” Sarah Drennan, Deputy Director of the Frederick County Health Department said.
Other counties seeing an increase in fatal overdoses include Garrett, Washington, Charles, and Prince George’s counties.
The number of nonfatal overdoses in Frederick County has been decreasing.
In order to get or keep all figures trending in a downward direction, Drennan said it’s critical to continue to offer resources for people who need assistance when it comes to drug use/abuse. She said those included maintaining access to Narcan, which combats the potential deadly outcome of overdoses, the majority of which come from opioids, including fentanyl.