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August overdoses down in Carroll County, continuing year-to-date trend

As the Carroll County Health Department observes National Recovery Month in September, the number of local overdoses decreased slightly in August, month over month and year over year, according to data provided by the Sheriff’s Office.

There were 33 overdoses in August in Carroll County, down from 40 in July and from 34 last August as the county continues to trend lower in terms of overdoses. Of the 33 overdoses, 23 were classified as accidental, four as suicide attempts and six undetermined. Thirty of the 33 were county residents. The vast majority of the victims — 15 — were 25 to 34 years old.

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Heroin was deemed the method responsible for 13 of the overdoses while eight were attributed to prescription medications, six to other controlled dangerous substances and one to over-the-counter medication. The results of the other five are pending or unknown.

There have been 93 heroin overdoes in 2020, down from 115 at this point last year.

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Thus far, none of the August overdoses have been attributed to the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl. If that doesn’t change after further testing results are made known, it would be the first month since July of 2017 that fentanyl hasn’t been responsible for at least one overdose in Carroll County.

Carroll has seen 261 overdoses through August, according to Sheriff’s Office data. That’s the lowest total through eight months of a year since 2016. That represents a 6.5% decline from a year ago and a 29% decline from 2018.

There were three overdose deaths in August, the same number as in July and one fewer than last August. So far this year, 29 people have died of overdoses. Fatalities are down 6% year over year and 43% compared to 2018, when 51 people died of overdoses in Carroll through August.

The Carroll County Health Department is observing National Recovery Month in September with a series of virtual events and community outreach efforts, according to a news release.

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The health department will feature stories from their peer recovery support staff, as well as recovery information and resources, on their website at cchd.maryland.gov, as well as on their Facebook page and the Not in Carroll Facebook page. Staff are also offering brief presentations to small community groups.

Additonally, the local Opioid Prevention Coalition will meet virtually on Wednesday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m.to 10:30 a.m. The meeting will feature a Recovery Month speaker, Michele Gibbs. For more information or to participate in the virtual meeting, contact Linda Auerback at 410-876-4803 or linda.auerback@maryland.gov.

Most health department recovery support services have been available throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about all of the Health Department’s behavioral health services at cchd.maryland.gov or by calling 410-876-4449. Mobile Crisis services are available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily by calling 410-952-9552.

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