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April 13, 2021

Trone Calls for Immediate Action Following New Report Showing Dramatic Increase in Opioid Deaths In Maryland Due to COVID

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Hannah Muldavin, Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov

Trone Calls for Immediate Action Following New Report Showing Dramatic Increase in Opioid Deaths In Maryland Due to COVID

Data Reveals Western Maryland Saw a 45.9% Increase in Deaths Compared to 2019

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman David Trone (MD-06) made the below statement following the release of new data from the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) showing a significant increase in the number of overdose deaths in Maryland in 2020. Overdoses throughout the state increased by 18.7%, while Western Maryland experienced a 45.9% increase in overdose deaths.

Data from Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center 2020 Report

“The latest data from Maryland confirmed our worst fears — COVID-19 has taken a significant toll on Marylanders of every demographic living with substance use disorder, especially those in Western Maryland.

“Not only did we see a devastating, record-setting number of deaths from opioids, but we saw a significant decline in naloxone distribution caused by barriers to connecting first responders to overdose patients during COVID.

“The consequences of this pandemic are real and long-lasting, and now is the time to double down on our efforts to help those who need it. We need to start by increasing funding for mental health and substance use disorder prevention, treatment, recovery services, supporting the health care institutions and care centers providing addiction services, and widely deploying the life-saving drug naloxone.

“It’s promising to see the Biden Administration prioritize mental health and substance use disorder funding in the budget request sent to Congress this week, and I will work with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to ensure we coordinate with the Administration, states, and those at the local level to aggressively fight the worsening opioid epidemic in the wake of COVID-19.

“It’s not going to be easy, but these are the steps that we must take to help those that are living with substance use disorders, heal our communities, and save lives.”

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress and previously served on the Education and Labor and Foreign Affairs Committees. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

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