Carroll County saw 22 fewer fatal opioid overdoses during the first nine months of 2019 compared with the same time period in 2018, a 39% decrease. That’s according to a new report by the Maryland Health Department and Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center.
January through September 2018, saw 56 deaths related to opioid drugs in Carroll County, according to the report. January through September 2019 saw 34 such deaths.
These numbers track only fatalities, unlike monthly reports by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, which also track non-fatal overdoses. The Sheriff’s Office data is also more current, but not as complete; the state report includes overdose deaths that have been confirmed by the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.
The state report shows a slight downward trend in many jurisdictions around Maryland: Anne Arundel county saw a decrease of 41 deaths in the 2019 over 2018 comparison, Frederick a decrease of 12 and Baltimore County a decrease of 23 deaths. Other jurisdictions saw increases, most notably Baltimore City, which saw an increase of 30 deaths in the first nine months of 2019 versus that time period in 2018.
But total opioid overdose deaths across Maryland in the nine-month, 2018 over 2019 comparison, did decrease, from 1,653 such deaths in 2018 to 1574 in 2019.
This slight trend toward a decrease has also been seen in the Sheriff’s Office statistics in Carroll County throughout 2019, where despite the occasional spikes in overdose numbers, the overall trend has remained downward through most of the year. There were 52 overdose deaths in Carroll from January through November, whereas there were 68 such deaths in that same 11-month period in 2018, a 23.5% decrease.
And in factoring in the total number of overdoses recorded by the Sheriff’s Office in Carroll, that is, counting fatal and non-fatal overdoses, there was still a decreasing trend through November, the latest month for which numbers are currently available. There were 474 total overdoses from January through November in 2018, and 399 in that same period in 2019, a 16% decrease.