Opioid Crisis


The number of overdose deaths as a result of opioid use in Maryland, many of which occur from prescription opioids such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, and morphine, has been increasing since 2010 . While most overdose deaths due to opioid use occur in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, rural counties face unique challenges, such as more limited educational, economic, and employment opportunity, high-risk behaviors, and isolation . Rural communities are also often faced with other problems like scarce detox resources, volunteer EMTs who have limited ability to legally provide naloxone, and transportation difficulties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a 700 percent increase in opioid related overdose deaths in rural areas throughout the United States compared to a 400 percent increase in cities . The farming population is particularly impacted by the opioid epidemic. In a recent survey, 74% of farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers reported being directly impacted by opioid misuse, addiction, or overdose. In addition, three in four farmers (77%), as well as those who work in agriculture generally (76%), say it would be easy for someone in their community to access a large amount of prescription opioids or painkillers without a prescription .


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Understanding the Epidemic, March 2019
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