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Who is at Risk?

Everyone is at risk.

People especially at risk:

  • Use prescription opioids, especially in higher doses
  • Have a household member or someone they know who is in possession of opioids
  • Use opioids that are mixed with Fentanyl or any other substance (especially alcohol or benzos)
  • Have an opioid dependence, especially with a reduced tolerance (following detoxification, release from incarceration, cessation of treatment)
  • Inject opioids
  • Use when they are alone
  • Use substances without testing their strength

Adolescents (ages 12-17)

People often share unused pain relievers and are not aware of the dangers of nonmedical opioid use. Most adolescents are given opiates free by a friend or relative.

Adolescent Statistics

  • In 2014, 467,000 were using opiates for nonmedical reasons
  • 168,000 have an addiction to opiates
  • 28,000 have used heroin in the past year; 16,000 are current heroin users; 18,000 adolescents had a heroin use disorder in 2014


Women are more likely to have chronic pain and be prescribed pain relievers. They are typically given higher doses, use them for longer periods of time, and can become dependent quicker than men.

  • Between 1999 and 2010, 48,000 of women died of prescription pain reliever overdoses; this figure has increased 400% since
  • Heroin overdose deaths among women tripled from 2010 to 2013 (0.04 to 1.2 per 1,000,000)

State of Maryland Stats