Opioid Use Disorders in Baltimore City Prevalence and Treatment Rates


This report provides what are believed to be the most detailed estimates of opioid (including heroin) abuse, dependence, and treatment in Baltimore City from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. Hilltop wrote this report with financial support from Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB).


Hilltop found that, as of June 30, 2014, there were 24,887 unique individuals with opioid-related morbidity in Baltimore City, and 59 percent of those individuals received at least one form of standardized outpatient treatment in the 12 months leading up to that date. This seemingly high rate of treatment engagement is believed to be inflated because it is based on a medical treatment sample rather than a broader population sample. Additionally, the use of just a single service represents a “low bar” definition/threshold for adequate provision of care. Accordingly, these results suggest that at least 41 percent of Baltimore City residents have opioid-related morbidity absent adequate care.


This report further details rates of different levels of care for opioid-related problems, including inpatient and emergency department (ED) service use, and puts forth regression results that estimate the extent to which different factors correlate with engagement in standard opioid treatment.

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