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Intoxication Deaths Remain High

Armen Hareyan's picture

Intoxication Deaths

The Office of Epidemiology and Planning of the Baltimore City Health Department is releasing Intoxication Deaths Associated with Drugs of Abuse Or Alcohol, Baltimore, Maryland, January 1995 through September 2007. This report is based on an analysis of records provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Maryland.

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"This important report demonstrates that while there has been progress, we still have far to go in reducing drug use and its fatal consequences in Baltimore," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Commissioner of Health. "It is critical that as many people as possible have access to effective drug treatment." In collaboration with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the report will be updated every three months.

Drug and alcohol abuse remains a serious problem in Baltimore, contributing to HIV and other medical illnesses, crime and victimization, family breakdown and foster care, and other harm to individuals, families, and communities. Over the last decade, the availability of drug treatment has increased substantially. However, with essentially level funding over the past several years, many city residents remain unable to obtain timely access to effective treatment. One perspective on the scope of the substance abuse problem in Baltimore is the number of deaths due to intoxication. We used records from the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to examine trends in intoxication deaths in Baltimore City from 1995 to 2007. We analyzed intoxication deaths of undetermined or accidental manner that involved drugs of abuse or alcohol. Key findings include: