Revised March 2019
Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths
In 2017, there were 1,985 overdose deaths involving opioids in Maryland—a rate of 32.2 deaths per 100,000 persons, which is twofold greater than the national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. The state ranks in the top 5 for opioid-related overdose death rates with the largest increase attributed to cases involving synthetic opioids (mainly fentanyl).
From 2012 to 2017, the number of deaths involving synthetic opioids rose from 52 to 1,542 deaths (Figure 1). Heroin involved overdose deaths recently dropped to 522 in 2017 after a dramatic increase from 173 deaths in 2012 to 650 in 2016. Drug overdose deaths involving prescription opioids also recently declined to 711 in 2017.
Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions
In 2017, Maryland providers wrote 51.7 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (Figure 2). This was among the lowest prescribing rates in the country and less than the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions (CDC).
While the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid prescriptions recently declined from 13.1 in 2016 to 11.5 deaths in 2017, the overall trend rose through 2016 (Figure 2).
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
NAS or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) may occur when a pregnant woman uses drugs such as opioids during pregnancy. A recent national study showed a fivefold increase in the incidence of NAS/NOWS between 2004 and 2014, from 1.5 cases per 1,000 hospital births to 8.0 cases per 1,000 hospital births ― that is one baby born with NAS/NOWS every 15 minutes in the United States. During the same period, hospital costs for NAS/NOWS births increased from $91 million to $563 million, after adjusting for inflation (Figure 3). In Maryland, 1,419 cases of NAS/NOWS were reported in 2015, the most recent data available for the state (Baltimore Sun).
HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)
- U.S. Incidence: In 2016, 9 percent (3,480) of the 39,589 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among males, 6.3 percent (2,530) of new cases were transmitted via IDU or male-to-male contact and IDU. Among females, 2.3 percent (950) were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
- U.S. Prevalence: In 2016, 991,447 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 306.6 cases per 100,000 persons. Among males, 19.9 percent (150,466) contracted HIV from IDU or male-to-male contact and IDU while 21 percent (50,154) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
- State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2016, 1,097 occurred in Maryland. Among males, 6.5 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to IDU or male-to-male contact and IDU. Among females, 8.1 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to IDU (Figure 4) (AIDSVu).
- State Prevalence: In 2015, an estimated 33,072 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Maryland—a rate of 657 cases per 100,000 persons. Of those, 24.5 percent of male cases were attributed to IDU or male-to-male contact and IDU. Among females, 24.0 percent were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use1
- U.S. Incidence: In 2016, there were an estimated 41,200 new cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Among case reports that contain information about IDU, 68.6 percent indicated use of injection drugs (CDC).
- U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 2.4 million Americans are living with HCV based on 2013-2016 annual averages (CDC).
- State Incidence: There were approximately 35 new cases of acute HCV (0.6 per 100,000 persons) reported in Maryland in 2016 (CDC).
- State Prevalence: In Maryland, there are an estimated 41,100 persons living with Hepatitis C (2013-2016 annual average), a rate of 890 cases per 100,000 persons (HepVu).
The National Institute of Health Funds Center of Excellence in Pain Education
Maryland is home to one of the eleven Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs): The Johns Hopkins University Center of Excellence in Pain Education. The CoEPEs act as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and other schools to improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.
- Maryland Department of Health, Overdose Prevention in Maryland
- State of Maryland - Before It's Too Late campaign
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Opioid Overdose
- Not all states collect or report data on the incidence or prevalence of Hepatitis C or on how Hepatitis C is transmitted. When available, the data will be included.
- Actual acute cases estimated to be 13.9 times the number of reported cases in any year.
Get this Publication
NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative
New Opioid Overdose Materials for Patients
Find information about addiction and mental health services in your area. You can search by state or zip code online or call the number. (SAMHSA)