In the first three months of 2021, Anne Arundel County there have been 181 opioid overdoses, a decrease of 14.6% from 212 overdoses during January through March of 2020. There have been 43 overdose fatalities within that timeframe. The chart below compares overdose rates for January through March over a 5-year span.
What are opioids?
Opiates/ opioids are drugs that are used to relieve pain because of the way they suppress the central nervous system. This method of pain treatment causes many individuals to become tolerant of the drug. When this happens, a higher dose of the drug is needed to achieve the same pain-relieving effect. For many people, this is how addiction begins.
Who suffers from opioid overdose?
Anyone can become addicted to opioids. A common misconception is that mainly young people suffer from heroin/ opioid problems, however a third of heroin users are in their 40s or older, many overdose fatalities occur in adults over 50, while fewer than 5% of opioid-related deaths occur in teenagers (AAHealth.org). Something as simple as not following the directions on a prescription for pain relievers following a surgery, sharing your medicine with another person, or leaving pills in unlocked or unmonitored locations can be the start of an addiction disorder that lasts a lifetime.
Opioid Overdose Response Training: Naloxone is a prescription medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose to prevent death. Save a life by learning how to identify signs of an overdose and administer naloxone. Go to PreventSubstanceMisuse.org/narcan-training to register.
AAHealth.org. (2021, April 08). Opioid-related data. http://aahealth.org/opioid-related-data/
AAHealth.org. (n.d.) Myths and Misunderstandings. https://aahealth.org/heroin-myths-and-misunderstandings/