Maryland occupies a unique section of the eastern portion of the United States. While the strange and convoluted borders of the state defy easy understanding, the state nevertheless has carved out a chunk of land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains that is a cross-segment of many of the geographic areas that make up the United States.
Maryland is also a neighbor to some of the busiest and most populous portions of the country, as it borders Washington D.C. on one side and is transit zone to some of the other biggest and most important cities in the country, included Philadelphia and New York City. Possibly because it lies in this important area, Maryland has some serious drug issues.
Drug Use Facts for Maryland
Maryland is facing the following challenges with regards to the drug problem in the state:
- 8.11 percent of Maryland citizens report past-month drug use. This is close to the national average of 8.82 percent of all Americans.
- Heroin is the most-used drug in the state.
- 13.5 per 100,000 people in Maryland die because of a drug-induced death. This is higher than the national average of only 12.8 people per 100,000 dying from a drug-induced death nationwide.
- Maryland is one of the top ten states in the country for drug dependence in people over the age of 12.
What Drugs are Being Used in Maryland
According to a new report, Maryland is one of the leading states in the nation for Marijuana arrests. Baltimore City is the highest in the state according to a report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland.
There was a huge differential in racial disparity when the study, which used data collected by the FBI and U.S. Census, was analyzed. The rate in which marijuana is used is comparable between Caucasian and African American users, but the arrest rates for African American users are much higher.
Maryland came in 4th place in the nation with 459 arrests per 100,000 civilians; the only states with higher rates were Washington D.C., New York, and Nebraska.
- There was a 34% increase in marijuana arrests during 2001 to 2010 when the population increased 7%.
- During that time black arrests increased by 5,614 and white arrests by 371.
- 106 million dollars was spent on enforcing marijuana laws in 2010.
The racial disparity among arrests is a large differential as marijuana arrests are inflating exponentially in recent years. Marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs and may serve as a gateway drug. The laws on marijuana are often enforced very strictly in accordance to that of other drugs.
Here are the other drug problems affecting the state of Maryland:
- Stimulants have never been much of a problem in Maryland. For the last twenty years, drugs such as meth have flat-lined at almost zero percent of all drug treatment admissions throughout the state.
- Marijuana has continued to climb in its abuse rates in the state. After only taking up 10 percent of all admissions twenty years ago, as of 2011, marijuana had climbed to second place in terms of drugs that Maryland citizens were being admitted to treatment for. The drug now sits at about 30 percent of all admissions.
- Heroin has long been the most widely-abused drug in Maryland. After a high of near 50 percent of all drug treatment admissions from the years 1998 through 2004, use of the drug has dropped off to taking up only about 35 percent of all admissions.
- The drug taking up the slack has been prescription painkillers; a drug that is also rising in abuse rates throughout the rest of the country as well.
- Cocaine and crack have continued their downward slide in terms of abuse rates, also mirroring the rest of the country.
Sources and Resources for Maryland Drug Treatment
WhiteHouse.gov: Maryland Drug Control Update – http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/state_profile_-_maryland_0.pdf
Baltimore Brew: Marijuana Arrest http://www.baltimorebrew.com/2013/11/07/marijuana-arrest-rate-in-maryland-among-highest-in-u-s-report-says/