Hogan-Rutherford Administration Announces Over $22 Million to Fight Heroin and Opioid Epidemic
By PRESS OFFICER
Baltimore, MD—Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center, Department of Health, and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention today announced more than $22 million to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic. Eighty percent will go to Maryland’s 24 local jurisdictions and service providers to fund prevention, enforcement, and treatment efforts throughout the state.
“Finding real solutions to the heroin and opioid crisis that is ravaging our communities is a top priority of our administration and a cause that myself and Lt. Governor Rutherford have been personally committed to since before we took office,” said Governor Hogan. “This new funding will make real differences in people’s lives as we work together to turn the tide in this deadly fight.”
The funding for Fiscal Year 2018 includes the first $10 million of Governor Larry Hogan’s $50 million commitment to address the crisis announced in March 2017, the first $10 million from the federal 21st Century Cures Act, and $2.1 million from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention.
“With this funding plan, Maryland reaffirms Governor Hogan’s commitment to helping equip our local communities as we work together to battle this epidemic throughout the state,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis Schrader. “For example, $2 million of the Cures Act funding is being committed to establish a 24-hour crisis center in Baltimore City.”
“Here in Maryland, we continue to face a crisis situation with the number of overdoses rising every day. I am confident that with these resources we are announcing today, we have a balanced approach to fighting this epidemic—and we are giving the majority of our resources to the local level where we have the greatest opportunity to save lives,” said Clay Stamp, executive director of the Opioid Operational Command Center. “It is important to note our successes will continue to be driven by the significant support and cooperation of our federal and state agencies and local coordinated teams, including key advocacy groups, supporting our important work to combat the opioid crisis.”
When Governor Hogan declared a State of Emergency in March, he also announced a supplemental budget of $50 million in new funding over a five-year period. Twelve state agencies partnering with the Opioid Operational Command Center worked with the command center to develop a work plan and goals, which have shaped how funds will be allocated. The work plan and funding allocations also incorporated feedback from local Opioid Intervention Teams, which coordinate with the community and are led by the jurisdiction’s emergency manager and health officer.
The Maryland Department of Health was awarded a $20 million grant under the 21st Century Cures Act from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to be used for the prevention and treatment of opioid abuse over two years.
“The funds from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention will be used to continue the collaboration and coordination between federal, state, and local law enforcement,” said Glenn Fueston, executive director of the office. “By promoting such collaboration, we feel that we will be in a better position to disrupt the flow of drugs coming into our region.”
As Maryland’s opioid crisis has evolved, so has the state’s response to it, which includes addressing the epidemic from every possible angle. Education and prevention go hand-in-hand with treatment and enforcement, and all are essential components of the state’s efforts to turn the tide in this heroin and opioid crisis. Efforts that will receive enhanced funding in FY 2018 include:
• $4 million total distributed to local Opioid Intervention Teams for each jurisdiction to determine how best to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic, which may expand on current prevention, enforcement, and treatment efforts
• $1.4 million for a public awareness campaign to reduce stigma, increase patient-physician communication, and educate Maryland’s school children on the dangers posed by opioids, as well as additional support for local jurisdictions’ prevention efforts
• $700,000 to train community teams on overdose response and linking to treatment
• $200,000 to pilot a program that creates school-based teams for early identification of the problems related to substance use disorders
• $200,000 to distribute opioid information to health care facilities and providers that offer treatment for opioid use disorder
• $1.25 million to add to existing efforts to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations
• $850,000 to continue heroin coordinator program, which helps to make the link between law enforcement and treatment
• $450,000 to increase the Department of Health’s regulatory oversight of controlled dangerous substances
• $3.2 million to expand treatment beds statewide, as well as a tracking system—the Maryland Healthcare Commission will aid in expediting the certificate of need application process for treatment beds
• $2.7 million to improve access to naloxone statewide
• $2 million to establish a 24-hour crisis center in Baltimore City
• $1.6 million to expand use of peer recovery support specialists
• $1 million to expand Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) to hospitals and parole, probation, and correctional facilities
• $780,000 to increase access to medications that support recovery from substance use disorders
• $183,000 to support the expansion of existing law enforcement assisted diversion programs
• $143,000 to improve the statewide crisis hotline
Recognizing the immediate need for naloxone in Baltimore City, $750,000 will be provided to buy 10,000 units (20,000 doses) of the lifesaving drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. The city will receive $830,429 in individual jurisdictional funding, $2 million to establish the crisis center requested by city leadership, as well as funding for localized treatment and enforcement initiatives. With the opportunity to apply for grants, Baltimore is eligible for approximately $6 million in funding. The 2016 annual report released by the Maryland Department of Health found that of the 2,089 overdose deaths in Maryland last year, 694 occurred in Baltimore City.
The funding announcement also coincides with the July 1, 2017 roll-out of Maryland Medicaid programs that make substance use disorder treatment options more accessible for Marylanders. Chief among them is the ability of residential treatment centers of a certain size to be able to receive Medicaid reimbursement for treatment—erasing a federal prohibition that had served as an impediment to treatment for many people. Many of these efforts are possible due to the passage of recent legislation that provided the state with additional tools to respond to the heroin and opioid crisis, such as the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017 (HB 1329/SB 967), a bipartisan omnibus bill that contains provisions to improve patient education, increase treatment services, and includes the administration’s Overdose Prevention Act, which enables all citizens to access life-saving naloxone. The HOPE Act builds on many of the 33 recommendations of the administration’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, and includes improvements to the statewide crisis hotline for support in making diagnoses and referrals, the assessment of drug court programs to determine how to increase programs in a manner sufficient to meet each county’s need, and the establishment of the 24-hour crisis center.
Governor Hogan’s State of Emergency declaration activated the governor’s emergency management authority and enables increased and more rapid coordination between the state and local jurisdictions. The Opioid Operational Command Center, established by Governor Hogan in January through an Executive Order, facilitates collaboration between state and local public health, human services, education, and public safety entities to combat the heroin and opioid crisis and its effects on Maryland communities.
Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to this epidemic—and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery. Marylanders grappling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org and 1-800-422-0009, the state crisis hotline.
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