WASHINGTON (WMAL) – Howard County’s efforts to reduce the number of people dying from opioid overdoses seem to be paying off. In 2018, 31 people in the county died from overdosing on opioids, a nearly 26 percent decrease from the year before according to a new report from the Howard County Health Department.
“That is contrasted, however, by nonfatal overdoses, which are up about 9.9 percent,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball.
Ball has made curbing the opioid abuse epidemic one of his priorities and has five goals: reducing overdose deaths and non-fatal overdoses, increasing the number of residents getting treatment for opioid addiction, decreasing the number of people going to emergency rooms for opioid-related issues and reducing the rate of opioids prescribed to patients
He said they’ve already taken steps to help people suffering from opioid addiction. In May the first county-owned treatment facility for people suffering from opioid addiction, Howard House, opened. The county has also formed a partnership with Delphi Behavioral Health Group to build a new residential treatment center where residents will have allocated beds.
The county is also suing opioid makers and distributors to hold them accountable for their role in the crisis according to Ball.
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