Drug overdoses kill more people than car accidents in 29 states, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health. Maryland is one of those states. It stands to reason that with a growing number of overdose deaths would come an increase in the number of people accused of drug crimes. Both increases are something to be alarmed about.
In 2010, 11.3 people out of every 100,000 in the state of Maryland suffered a fatal drug overdose. While this is a slight decrease when compared with the 11 out of 100,000 reported in 2000, it’s still an alarming rate. And outside of this latest study, other research says drug use is on the rise.
The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports heroin deaths increased dramatically from 245 in 2011 to 378 in 2012. There has been a similar spike in drug use among teens in the state. Perhaps most frightening, the drugs are stronger than ever.
“The purity level is like nothing we’ve ever seen before, because they are fighting for customers,” explained former heroin addict and Baltimore County drug czar Mike Gimbel.
Heroin is no longer a back-alley, big-city substance—it’s spreading throughout the suburbs.
Methadone, a drug used to help people kick their heroin habit, is also on the rise. In the past year, methadone deaths in the state have risen from 103 to 117, indicating more people are trying to get off of heroin and failing.
The resurgence of heroin after years of relative obscurity can be blamed on the abuse of pharmaceuticals. Legal opiates like Oxycontin, for instance, draw people in but are unable to sustain them when the addiction gets strong. Heroin, also an opiate, provides a cheaper and stronger high. That high is also more deadly.
In an effort to keep people from addiction, the state continues to arrest and prosecute those they find in possession of drugs. But jail time does nothing for addiction. Though a user may be temporarily removed from their life, where they have access to the substance of choice, they aren’t getting help with the problems that led them to addiction in the first place.
More than likely, law enforcement and the courts will continue to crack down on those found in possession of drugs. If that’s you and you need more than a jail stint, contact our offices today.
There are options available to you and a drug possession charge could be the catalyst that allows you to get help.