By BALTIMORE SUN EDITORIAL BOARD
The COVID-19 pandemic gives more reason for why the state should finally approve legislation creating overdose prevention sites, where people can use drugs in a safe setting staffed with medical professionals. Advocates of such sites, which already exist in 12 countries around the world, have tried for around half a decade to bring these centers to Maryland with no success. But with overdose rates on the rise, the state needs to try new ways to prevent more deaths.
Last year, 2,025 Marylanders died from drug or alcohol overdoses in the first nine months, a 12.1% jump from 2019. Of those, 1,829 Marylanders died from opioids, 14.5% higher than the prior year. The deadly synthetic fentanyl, 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, was found in 93.1% of opioid deaths.