HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — The number of opioid-related deaths in Howard County fell by nearly 26 percent in 2018 while non-fatal overdoses increased by 10 percent over the same period, a new report from the county’s health department shows.
Data shows a combined 222 fatal and non-fatal overdoses were reported in the county in 2018, the same number as 2017. In 2016, Howard County officials reported a combined 173 overdoses.
In a news release explaining the findings Friday, County Executive Calvin Ball touted the county’s efforts but pointed out more works remains.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to unite our community in the fight against opioids and addiction,” Ball said. “Together, we can end the stigma around seeking help, increase access to treatment, and prevent substance use disorders. In the face of crisis, Howard County stands strong and united.”
The report outlines five key goals the county has for addressing the opioid epidemic:
- Reduced rate of overdose death
- Reduced rate of non-fatal overdoses
- Increased rate of Howard County residents entering treatment for substance use disorder
- Reduced number of emergency department visits for opioid-related incidents
- Reduced rate of opioids prescribed to patients
The full report is available on the county’s website.