Maryland U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has participated in a number of town hall meetings across the state in recent months focused on the health crisis around heroin and opioid abuse. The numbers of those affected by the crisis in Maryland alone are staggering:
From 2011 to 2015, the number of heroin-related deaths increased by 200% statewide. Every part of the state is affected — not only larger cities but also small towns and more rural areas. Senator Cardin said that many people aren’t aware of how widespread the issue has become even as the problems of addiction and abuse continue to grow and have reached epidemic proportions.
Last year, more than 1,250 Marylanders died from overdoses (up 21% from 2014). Cardin says a major problem at this point is that there are no follow-up programs if people are arrested or end up in the hospital a result of a drug overdose.