Baltimore, MD - May 23, 2024  - People in Baltimore have been dying of overdoses at a rate never before seen in a major American city.

In the past six years, nearly 6,000 lives have been lost. The death rate from 2018 to 2022 was nearly double that of any other large city, and higher than nearly all of Appalachia during the prescription pill crisis, the Midwest during the height of rural meth labs or New York during the crack epidemic.

A decade ago, 700 fewer people here were being killed by drugs each year. And when fatalities began to rise from the synthetic opioid fentanyl, so potent that even minuscule doses are deadlyBaltimore’s initial response was hailed as a national model. The city set ambitious goals, distributed Narcan widely, experimented with ways to steer people into treatment and ratcheted up campaigns to alert the public.

But then city leaders became preoccupied with other crises, including gun violence and the pandemic. Many of those efforts to fight overdoses stalled, an examination by The New York Times and The Baltimore Banner has found.... Read More: NY Times