NORRISTOWN, PA — A 12% surge in people admitted to Gaudenzia Inc., the largest no-profit treatment provider for people with substance use and co-occurring disorders in the Northeast, in the fiscal year ended June 30, suggests that the region’s addiction epidemic is not ebbing, according to the annual Gaudenzia Frontline Report.
The FrontLine Report is the only comprehensive, data-driven annual look at substance use disorder trends, county-by-county, in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Washington D.C. where Gaudenzia provides treatment services. This data is gathered from its over 120 licensed treatment programs.
“This is hard data that will help identify opportunities in addressing hard problems,” said Dr. Dale Klatzker, President and CEO of Gaudenzia. “It is our hope that reports like this will help spur greater urgency in providing better access to treatment services and shedding the remnants of ignorance and stigma that hold back so many of our friends, neighbors and family members from getting the help they need to recover their lives.”
Among the highlights in this year’s FrontLine report:
- The number of people admitted to Gaudenzia programs in the 12 months ending June 30, increased by 12% to 15,045 from 13,387 the previous fiscal year.
- 28% of those admitted reported a secondary substance use disorder. Of those, 40% had a secondary stimulant use disorder, up from 23% a year earlier.
- The percentage of adults 55+ accessing treatment increased by 5%.
- 68% of admissions completing a biopsychosocial exam between March and June 2023 had a co-occurring mental health diagnosis.
- The percentage of individuals diagnosed with an alcohol SUD increased by 4%, while individuals with a primary stimulant SUD decreased by 4%.
The numbers underscore some of Gaudenzia’s top priorities, including the need to lower barriers to treatment to meet people with addiction where they are in their recovery journey. This includes providing greater access to medication assisted treatment (MAT). Recent studies show just 20% of people with opioid use disorder in 2021 received medications that would have helped them in their recovery process.
Gaudenzia also continues to push for harm reduction measures that use evidence-based practices, which help reduce or prevent overdose deaths and adverse health outcomes. This includes reducing instances of life-threatening infections and reducing the transmission of chronic diseases.
In Maryland, Gaudenzia’s harm-reduction team engaged 4,145 individuals in Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County between November 2022 and June 2023, providing naloxone kits, overdose prevention education and resources navigation, as well as 300 fentanyl test strips. This work is funded by a Maryland Department of Health ACCESS Harm Reduction Grant.
Gaudenzia also remains a national leader in SUD treatment for pregnant and parenting women, as the Claymont Center in Delaware celebrated its one-year anniversary in June. During its first 12 months, the Claymont Center, Delaware’s only residential treatment center for pregnant and parenting women, provided evidenced-based and trauma and culture-informed care to 40 women and 22 children.
The county-by-county data in the FrontLine Report comes as the CDC reported a record 107,081 drug overdose deaths in the calendar year 2022, the second straight year that the number eclipsed 100,000.
“Everyone has a role to play when it comes to the epidemic of substance use disorder,” Klatzker said. “We hope the FrontLine Report provides needed information and drives awareness about local addiction trends for policy makers, law enforcement, media and the general public.”
To access the complete FrontLine Report, visit https://www.gaudenzia.org/frontline-report. More information on Gaudenzia’s evidence-based treatment programs for people with substance use and co-occurring disorders, can be found at www.gaudenzia.org. Those who are in need of treatment can call Gaudenzia’s 24/7 Treatment and Recovery Helpline at 833-976-HELP (4357).