Just recently, Anne Arundel County police released statistics related to heroin overdoses in the county. The statistics show a troubling trend. The total number of overdoses in the county has continued to climb to new levels. However, the opioid overdose reversing drug, naloxone, could be credited for keeping the fatalities lower. The data measures from January the 1st to June the 20th of this year. The information was broken down into fatal and nonfatal categories.
Last year, the area experienced 416 overdoses during the same time period. This year, that number has climbed over 100 to stop at 546. However, there is a beacon of shining light. The fatal number of overdoses has dropped slightly. The number of overdoses dropped from 68 to 62. It is believed that the increased use of naloxone has helped. In 2015, naloxone was used by the AAPD just nine times. Last year, they employed the lifesaving medication 51 times. This year, the number has more than doubled to 114.
Anne Arundel County Police admit the problem is ongoing and a solution seems far away. Nevertheless, they feel it is necessary to celebrate the small victories. The county’s Safe Stations Program has also been hailed as a success. To date, the initiative has helped to provide approximately 50 people with treatment. According to the police statistic, the largest number of overdoses was reported in the northern district. That region saw 213 reported overdoses. The eastern district ranked in second with a total of 128.
The western district was slightly lower at 85 overdoses. The local police force is also increasingly concerned with the growing use of synthetic opiate fentanyl in the county. This year, this drug was located in 40 of the 62 fatal overdoses. It has been referred to as extremely dangerous by the DEA and is considered 50 times more potent than heroin. Another synthetic opiate, carfentanil, is considered even worse. The synthetic drug is considered 5,000 times more potent than heroin. In Anne Arundel County, the drug was responsible for 7 of the 62 fatal opiate overdoses this year.
Finally, the statistics showed just two juvenile opiate overdoses this year. Last year, there was just one at this same time period.