FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — Due to the severe economic and emotional hardships imposed by the pandemic, substance use and overdose deaths have skyrocketed nationally, and Maryland is no exception.

According to the CDC, the number of drug overdose deaths from synthetic opioids has increased by 22% since March 2020. In Frederick County alone, more than 65 people have died due to opioid overdoses. Most of those deaths included fentanyl.

Ideal Option has been providing evidence-based and medication-assisted treatment since 2012. It now operates over 70 clinics in 10 states and has treated nearly 500,000 patients for addiction.

“We’re truly there because we want to help we understand that addiction is a disease. We don’t stigmatize we don’t judge. We are warm and welcoming,” Charlene Busman, an adult nurse practitioner, explained. “Patients really feel like they’re in a place that cares about them. And that’s important. Especially because it keeps them in treatment.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction visit for more resources.