Published On: Sat, Dec 8th, 2012

Maryland: Heroin overdose deaths up, prescription opioids overdose deaths down

Public domain photo/Psychonaught

Newly released data from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that from Jan. to Jul. 2012, there was an increase in overdose deaths related to heroin coinciding with a decline in overdose deaths related to prescription opioids.

Drug overdose deaths are up across the board in the “Old Line State”. Counting all drug overdose deaths, both  illegal or prescription drugs, there were six percent more drug overdose deaths during the first seven months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to a Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene press release today.

According to health data, following a decline from 2007 to 2011, there were 205 heroin-related overdose deaths in the first seven months of 2012, compared to 145 during the same period in 2011, an increase of 41 percent. At the same time, overdose deaths related to prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have declined by 15 percent, from 208 to 177.

“The rise in overdoses from heroin is a new and concerning trend,” said DHMH Secretary Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein.

The increase comes at a time when there are already many available resources such as a 12-step support group forum that can provide vital information to help those hooked on heroin.

Public health and law enforcement authorities in Maryland and across the country say heroin is a cheaper and more easily accessible  alternative to pharmaceutical opioids that are now more expensive and difficult to obtain for non-medical use.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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