Opioid overdose spike in MD
MARYLAND.- The pandemic has impacted many areas of life, one of them being a troubling turn around when it comes to addiction and recovery.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, the number of opioid-related unintentional overdoses spiked between 2019 and 2020 by more than 18%.
Healthcare professionals say many triggers can cause one to abuse opioids with the biggest being isolation and stress. “The pandemic was a major stressor and you’re seeing this in the statistics show some worsening of the picture,” said Peninsula Mental Health’s Dr. Michael Finegan.
Healthcare experts say access to treatment services has also been an issue, as many addiction treatment services are just trying to keep up. “It’s the degree of responsiveness of our systems. And if our systems are overwhelmed, that’s more drugs on the streets. Simple as that,” Dr. Finegan.
Another problem is that many individuals don’t have the support systems they need like peer support groups to fight addiction. “They didn’t have access to that so that plays a big role in someone’s sobriety,” said Hudson Behavior Health’s Alex Pullen.
Looking forward, Hudson Behavioral Health says they’re here to help. They’ve stayed open throughout the pandemic and are now reopening access for admission and offering transportation services for up to an hour away.
Ultimately, we’re told they just want the community to know they are here. “We’re here. We’re open. We’re trying to be safe and that there’s somebody here locally in the community that they can go to if their battling addiction,” said Pullen.
Hudson Behavioral Health also has an after admission line so if someone is seeking help after hours, they can speak with an admissions professional to get them to the proper care.