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Addiction Treatment in Baltimore

3 Minute Read | Published Nov 28 2023 | Updated Dec 01 2023

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects individuals of all ages, races, and backgrounds in Baltimore, Maryland. It is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. In Baltimore, addiction treatment has become a major public health issue due to the increasing number of individuals struggling with substance abuse. However, it is essential to recognize that addiction is a treatable disease, and with proper treatment and support, recovery is possible.

Addiction Problems and Disorders in Baltimore

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 60,000 individuals in Baltimore reported illicit drug use in the past year, and approximately 20,000 individuals reported substance use disorder (SUD) in 2019. Also, Baltimore had the second-highest opioid overdose death rate in the U.S. in 2019, with 66.4 deaths per 100,000 individuals. Heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, were the most commonly involved drugs in these deaths.

Furthermore, the prevalence of binge drinking (consuming five or more drinks on one occasion for men, and four or more drinks for women) among adults was 20.6% in Baltimore, which is higher than the national average of 17.3%. Binge drinking is a risk factor for various health problems, including liver disease, heart disease, and mental health disorders.

Moreover, nearly 10% of individuals in Baltimore reported using marijuana in the past month, and among young adults aged 18-25, the prevalence was 34%, which is significantly higher than the national average of 22.2%.

Statistics on Addiction Treatment in Baltimore

Despite the high prevalence of addiction in Baltimore, only 1 in 10 individuals with a substance use disorder receives treatment, according to SAMHSA. This could be due to various barriers, including lack of access to treatment facilities, stigma surrounding addiction, and lack of awareness about available treatment options.

However, addiction treatment in Baltimore has been gradually increasing in recent years, with a 62% increase in the number of individuals receiving treatment between 2017 and 2019. Outpatient treatment was the most common treatment option, followed by detoxification and residential treatment.

Moreover, Baltimore has implemented initiatives, such as the Baltimore City Behavioral Health System's Opioid Response Plan, which aims to reduce overdose deaths and increase access to treatment for individuals struggling with opioid addiction. This plan includes increasing the availability of naloxone, a medication that can reverse opioid overdose, and expanding access to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction.

Positive Outlook on Addiction Treatment in Baltimore

Despite the challenges that Baltimore faces in addressing addiction, the city has made significant progress in improving access to treatment and reducing opioid overdose deaths in recent years. The Baltimore City Health Department reported a decline in opioid overdose deaths from 761 in 2017 to 577 in 2019.

Moreover, Baltimore has an extensive network of treatment facilities, including residential and outpatient programs, detoxification centers, and syringe exchange programs, to provide comprehensive care to individuals struggling with addiction. These facilities often offer evidence-based treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and MAT, which have been proven effective in treating addiction.

Furthermore, Baltimore has a strong recovery community, with numerous support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, available to help individuals maintain their recovery and provide a supportive community.


Addiction remains a prevalent public health issue in Baltimore, with high rates of substance use and deaths from overdose. However, the city has made significant progress in increasing access to treatment and reducing the number of overdose deaths in recent years. With continued efforts to reduce barriers to treatment and increase awareness about available resources, addiction in Baltimore can be effectively treated, and individuals can achieve and maintain long-term recovery.
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