The month of November saw a decrease in the number of drug overdoses in Carroll County, when comparing both year over year and month over month, and both overdoses and fatal overdoses are lower year to date than in 2019.
The monthly overdose report, distributed by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, showed a total of 39 overdoses for November –– a 9.3% decrease when compared to the 43 overdoses that occurred a year ago, in November 2019. Last month also saw overall overdoses decrease by 2.5% when compared to the 40 overdoses in October. There had been 51 overdoses in September, the highest total for a single month this year.
Fifteen of the 39 overdoses were attributed to heroin, six to prescription drugs, three to alcohol, three to other controlled dangerous substances, two to fentanyl and one to over-the-counter medications while the other nine are either undetermined or still being investigated.
For all of 2020, total overdoses are down 2% as Carroll has seen 391 overdoses after seeing 399 through November 2019. Heroin overdoses are down significantly, from 162 to 140, or 13.6%. Still, heroin accounts for by far the largest number of Carroll’s overdoses with prescription drugs second at 67.
Of the 39 November overdoses, 26 were ruled accidental, six were ruled as suicide attempts and seven are as yet undetermined.
The six Carroll overdose deaths in November represented a 33.3% decreased when compared to the nine lives lost in November 2019, but a 33.3% increase compared to the four fatalities of October. According to the Sheriff’s Office news release, the cause of those overdose fatalities is not yet known.
There have been 44 fatal overdoses in Carroll County through the end of November. At this point last year, there had been 52. That’s a decrease of 15.4%.
While fentanyl is officially linked to only 18 of the 44 deaths, Regional Heroin Coordinator Brant Webb previously told the Times he believes the number of overdose cases related to fentanyl is actually higher.
“We suspect that a lot more of these cases are fentanyl overdoses, but we don’t usually have any drugs to send to the lab. Basically, any time we get fentanyl results back, they always come from an autopsy,” Webb said.
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Carroll County overdose data has been tracked monthly since 2016, when drug and opioid-related cases began to claim more lives around the region. Data reflects overdoses reported to law enforcement agencies in Carroll.