Baltimore is the largest city in Maryland and the largest independent city in the United States with a population of 622 thousand people across its 92 square miles. Known for its hundreds of separately identified districts, the city is often referred to as "a city of neighborhoods" or "Charm City".
It is an ever-growing city that is at the forefront of modern innovation. Almost 25 percent of the jobs in Baltimore are in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math. Originally its economy was heavily geared towards industry, with a focus of steel processing, shipping, auto manufacturing and transportation.
It is also internationally renowned for its performing arts, with groups like the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra being in operation since 1916, when it was first publicly funded. Baltimore is also home to the Lyric Opera House, the Baltimore Consort, the Hippodrome Theatre, Everyman Theatre, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society and the annual five day Maryland Film Festival that takes place in downtown Baltimore each May.
Baltimore is also home to many places of higher learning including some internationally known centers like the Johns Hopkins University. There are a total of fourteen colleges and universities in Baltimore:
The Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore International College
Loyola University Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art
St. Mary's Seminary and University
Notre Dame of Maryland University
The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University
Sojourner Douglass College
Baltimore City Community College
Coppin State University
Morgan State University
University of Baltimore
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Maryland, Baltimore
Drug and Alcohol Overdoses Outnumber Murder in Baltimore:
The alcohol sold in liquor stores all across the city may be more dangerous than the worst neighborhoods for Baltimore residents. As drug and alcohol overdose deaths climb, they have now outnumbered murders. Heroin alone was responsible for 143 deaths last year in the city.
With 19 thousand estimated heroin users in Baltimore, the drug is affecting every part of the city. There are programs in place already that are trying to counter these deaths, programs like needle exchanges. Needle exchange programs are controversial to some, as they provide addicts with access to new needles, but while they are there it gives the experts that work there a chance to talk to them about their addiction and get them to seek help.
The PDMP, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, has also been introduced now to Maryland, this program helps lower the number of people who go to multiple doctors with the same condition in an attempt to get multiple prescriptions for the same condition and either sell or abuse these drugs.
There are also several community programs in Baltimore that work to educate people on drug abuse:
- Coalition for Safe Communities
- East Baltimore Drug Free Coalition
- Garrett County Drug and Alcohol Council
- Nehemiah Coalition for Youth Development
- Partnership for a Drug Free Dorchester
But there are not enough programs in place and not enough efforts towards treatment. In a Drug Control Update released by the White House, it showed some alarming facts and figures for Baltimore as well as the State of Maryland:
- Drug induced death rates in Maryland exceed the national average.
- Drug treatment admissions cite heroin as the most common drug.
- Prescription drug abuse became the fastest growing drug problem, sparking the PDMP in Maryland.
- 1 in 8 weekend and nighttime drivers test positive for illicit drugs.
Baltimore Heroin Problem Out of Control:
New statistics are showing that Baltimore may have the highest heroin addiction rate in the county with 60 thousand addicts, one for every ten Baltimore residents. From 2011 to 2013 use of heroin increased by an alarming 88 percent and just in 2012 heroin overdose death rates rose by 18 percent.
Heroin is a highly addictive illegal drug that is made from the resin of poppy plants. A milky, sap-like opium is removed from the pod of the poppy flower then refined to make morphine, this is then further refined to make heroin. Heroin is most commonly injected, which creates the additional risk of AIDS or other infection through the sharing of needles.
Heroin has been around since 1898 and was originally used as a pharmaceutical medication until its highly damaging and addictive nature was discovered. Since then it has been manufactured in illegal drug labs and sold on the street or at parties to addicts and drug seekers. It is one of the most dangerous drugs available with withdrawal symptoms so intense it can result in death.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski is determined to fight this crisis that is not only ravishing Baltimore, but is starting to spread to the rest of the state. Mikulski spoke up about an idea to tackle the issue saying:
"Establish a Baltimore metropolitan drug task force modeled on the meth model that we used so successfully. I want Baltimore to be a model for the nation. Our U.S. attorney is already taking very positive steps in this direction, leading the way, but he needs the resources to do it, and I'm going to help him get it,"
Baltimore Recovery Options:
Baltimore has more drug rehab centers than almost anywhere else in the United States with 106 centers listed for the treatment of drugs or alcohol.
With this many options to choose from, you should have no problem finding a center that not only works for the addict in your life but also may have a specialty program that is designed to fit his exact situation. There are many different types of programs offered at rehab centers and we'll cover a few of them here:
- DUI/DWI Programs: These programs help to make sure you handle any requirements from the courts in addition to the regular addiction treatment.
- Pregnant/Postpartum Programs: These programs offer special care for women who are pregnant or who had just recently had children. They commonly offer residential stay for the women as well as her children if needed.
- Teenage/Adolescent Programs: These programs specialize in the extra care needed by children and young adults when they are dealing with addiction.