Consequences of Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Maryland
The consequences of substance abuse and drug-related illness are dire and affect thousands of Americans each year. Though public officials are trying to address the problem, federal data shows it’s only getting worse. In recent years, drug overdose deaths have surpassed those from car accidents or firearms, making it the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In 2015, death related to drugs caused 56,000 families to lose one of its members. This sobering statistic has led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to declare drug and substance abuse an epidemic.
At the root of the problem is the marked increase in the abuse of opioid and prescription pills. Close to two-thirds of 2015’s overdose deaths were a direct result of heroin or synthetic opioid abuse. Drug traffickers are cutting today’s heroin with even more dangerous substances, increasing the likelihood of an overdose.
Maryland Has Some of Worst Drug Abuse Rates in the Nation
Maryland similarly struggles with prescription pills and opioids, as well as other kinds of drugs. According to the Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene, overdose deaths resulting from drugs of all kinds have increased; from 2007 to 2014, the number of overdose deaths within all economic classes increased: Cocaine, heroin, Fentanyl, benzodiazepines, prescription drugs, and alcohol are all claiming more lives over time. The sharpest increases in overdose death relate to Fentanyl, a substance that can be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and heroin. In fact, the number of overdose deaths from Fentanyl doubled between 2013 and 2014 alone.
Alcohol Abuse Deaths on the Rise
Maryland still seems to struggle with alcohol abuse, since deaths directly related to individual consumption (i.e., not victims of accidents in which another party was drinking alcohol) have also risen. The number of deaths has been increasing steadily since 2010. Nowhere has Maryland been hit harder, however, than in the number of heroin-related deaths. In 2011, there were almost 250 overdose deaths related to heroin – and in 2014, that number rose to nearly 600. Deaths from heroin overdose have experienced a sharp increase in the past five years, and the problem has only been getting worse.
Substance abuse, as we can see, has very real and devastating consequences. The state data shows that these consequences are worse with each passing year. With drug deaths increasing across all classes in Maryland, how can officials effectively address the problem?
Can Maryland Handle Its Epidemic?
These statistics can seem like little more than numbers on paper, so it’s important to put them in context. These overdose deaths are more than data on a spreadsheet; they are people – mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons. These faces take on even more meaning when we consider that their deaths should have been preventable. Recovery from addiction is a long, hard battle, but it is one that can be won with effective intervention and treatment. A multidisciplinary approach, combined with tailored intervention mechanisms, helps addicts heal mind, body, and spirit, maximizing the chance for a productive life.
Maryland, with its proximity to Washington and Baltimore, sports a wealth of college towns and an active nightlife. While the academic opportunities and the attractiveness of the cities’ amenities highlight a great feature for Maryland’s culture and economy, students and residents are exposed to drugs early, often, and in various locations. Recovery requires an adequate support system and a lifelong commitment.
State Lacks Needed Infrastructure
Given the extent of Maryland’s substance abuse problems, it’s evident it lacks the infrastructure necessary to provide these important tools. While there are treatment centers in Maryland, they are ill equipped to handle this rapid influx of patients and adequately tend to their needs.
As a result, addicts and their families have begun to look elsewhere. Out-of-state options provide compassionate care and excellent delivery of addiction medicine services. Florida has become a renowned location for recovery and addiction treatment. This is in part because of its own history with drugs – because of its position as a global shipping destination, it has seen its fair share of illegally imported drugs and had its own struggle with addiction. Mental health professionals have turned Florida into a beacon of hope by beginning a systemic effort to treat drug abuse. Now, people from all over the country visit to receive its superior services.
Return to Health in Florida
Each treatment center is different in its approach to providing addiction care services, but we all share a common goal. Treatment centers in Florida combine the best resources available with best practices in addiction medicine and mental health to return the mind, body, and spirit to health. In the past few decades, Florida has developed a reputation for excellence in the realm of mental health. Mental health professionals now call Florida the Recovery State. This reputation encourages guests from all over the country and the globe to seek treatment and begin their own journey to healing. We welcome all who are ready and willing to begin the healing process with open arms and an open heart and mind.
Maryland has suffered more than most when it comes to the opioid epidemic and other forms of drug-related death. Some addicts may think there is no more cause to hope, no road back to health. But the road to health leads to you Florida, where experts in the mental health community are waiting to help you live a healthy and productive life.
The Treatment Center Blazes the Trail
At the Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches, we pride ourselves on being the leader in the field of addiction medicine. We set ourselves apart with our commitment to mental health and helping you find well-being. We staff our facility with the most qualified experts the field has to offer, combining advances in medicine with techniques that heal the mind and heart.
We Offer Programs to Meet All Needs
We tailor our services to meet the needs and philosophy of each patient and may include 12-step programs, group and individual therapy, and medically supervised detox. Our idyllic location, just two miles from the beach, encourages healing. Relax and reflect in the sun, finding inner peace with your past. At the Treatment Center of the Palm Beaches, we want to you to live a happy, healthy, life. Let’s take the first step on that journey together.