Gov. Hogan Administration Funds $170,000 for Harford County to Fight Heroin and Opioid Epidemic

From the Office of the Governor of Maryland:

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:

Prevention

– $4 million total distributed to local Opioid Intervention Teams (as noted in table below) 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

Enforcement

– $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

Treatment

– $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.

FY 2018 Funding by Jurisdiction

Local Opioid Intervention Teams will receive direct funding as noted below for each jurisdiction to determine how best to use to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic. This amount does not include other grants and additional funding distribution.

Allegany County – $115,956.49

Anne Arundel County – $286,858.61

Baltimore City – $830,428.66

Baltimore County – $469,737.68

Calvert County – $101,676.26

Caroline County – $78,182.98

Carroll County – $138,067.82

Cecil County – $123,326.94

Charles County – $108,125.40

Dorchester County – $74,037.11

Frederick County – $162,021.75

Garrett County – $71,273.19

Harford County – $170,313.50

Howard County – $124,708.89

Kent County – $73,115.80

Montgomery County – $191,964.17

Prince George’s County – $189,660.91

Queen Anne’s County – $79,564.94

Saint Mary’s County – $74,958.41

Somerset County – $90,620.60

Talbot County – $79,564.94

Washington County – $158,797.18

Wicomico County – $115,956.49

Worcester County – $91,081.25

Total – $4,000,0000

Comments

  1. Carrie Dobney says

    Enough! Its called Darwinism. The courts can send a person to treatment but unless they want to quit the person will not make the commitment. Get involved with raising your child and take responsibility for your own actions. “Oh, so and so was such a good boy/girl… it’s so and so fault for getting hooked on this.” BALONEY, it is your fault as a parent for not being involved, turning a blind eye, and wanting to be your child’s friend instead of being a parent!

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    • Leocea says

      Carrie,I used to believe that too. Sometimes,it is true.
      However, my mind has changed.
      Two good, strong families that we know have kids who are hooked on heroin. In and out of rehab for years. Jail as well.
      These families both have two parents who have been married over 20 years,happily. The kids were in sports, church activities, and were good students. They were supervised, supported, and encouraged. Noone abused them,neglected them, or failed to parent them.
      Yet they made a decision to put that needle in their arm. Why???
      It is heartbreaking, what these young men and their families have been through.
      I am not sure what can be done, when even “good” kids are doing it. I pray my kids say no if it is offered.

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      • K says

        I think your point is well stated, Leocea. Do you think the kids of the two families you mention knew it was wrong, stupid, a bad decision, whatever the case, before they tried heroin for the first time? I have always wondered if all the attention/education in schools, about the dangers of heroin, opiods, alcohol, tobacco, sex, etcetera actually entices some dare devil youth. Where in the name of God are all these kids acquiring heroin? Just like you, I pray my kids have enough strength to say no. I do believe that anyone using any substance that they know is deadly, addictive, illegal, dangerous, etcetera is making a conscious decision to roll the dice, play Russian roulette, insert any phrase you like. It just seems to me that what we’re paying for in terms of interventive actions is not working. When I was in high school, heroin was a big no no. Pot, booze, amphetamines were around. We were not inundated with heroin information. What was said was you mess with heroin one time, you’ll get addicted. You get strung out, you’ll die. There was no discussion of victimhood. How much money will help all those diseased with addiction? How much money spent on education will stop the influx of heroin mixed Fentanyl and/or Carfentanil?

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  2. A Realist says

    Blah… blah… No matter how much money you put out there,this “epidemic” will always be around. How about stopping it from coming into this country?!? Oh yeah,that won’t ever happen…

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    • SoulCrusher says

      Way too much money being made by those who bring it in to this country for it to ever stop. It’s not coming in from south of the border on the scale they wish you to believe, so it’s not the Mexican drug cartels doing it. You have to think about how it gets here from where it originated. Let’s see, who is going and coming from the areas it is produced and comes back into the country virtually unchecked? I’ll leave everyone with that question and I hope someone has some ideas on the question. I already know where I think it is getting in. What’s your guess?

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  3. No light at the end of the tunnel says

    Things are only going to get worse with no solution. I drive by that opioid treatment place in Riverside in the morning and it’s like watching McDonalds open up at 6am for all the retired folks Everyone with ants in their pants and a packed house.

    I love how people refer me to tobacco products. Yeah, this is a different kind of problem.

    Every middle class neighborhood is going to.have it’s very own ‘Baltimore leaner’ pretty soon.

    3+
  4. Money Won't Fix It says

    This is not like other diseases that can simply be treated and the person is cured. Unless the person wants help and wants to recover, there is no amount of government funding gonna fix that. This is a bigger societal issue.

    5+
    • RU Kidding says

      Stop calling addition a disease.I keep hearing this is a disease. It’s an addiction. It’s a choice. Cancer is a disease. Children battling cancer and tumors didn’t make the choice to suffer with this disease. Any drug addition is a choice one makes not a disease, regardless of what the medical community says.

      2+
      • Money Won't Fix It says

        No. It is a disease, regardless of what your opinion is.

        Some people think addiction cannot be a disease because it is caused by the individual’s choice to use drugs or alcohol. While the first use (or early stage use) may be by choice, once the brain has been changed by addiction, most experts believe that the person loses control of their behavior.

        Choice does not determine whether something is a disease. Heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer involve personal choices like diet, exercise, sun exposure, etc. A disease is what happens in the body as a result of those choices.

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  5. Not Economically Viable says

    The other major problem is that we have a society where there are lots and lots of people driving vehicles and generally being in public when they should be in mental health hospitals that no longer exist.

    Not even heroin related, I encountered an older gentleman parked on a road with no shoulder, watching him and talking to him for less than 30 seconds you dont need to be a Psychiatrist to realize this guy has Alzheimer’s or dementia. He was lost, in many ways.

    Whoever is responsible for this gentleman’s safe welfare and needs is not doing a good job. That person is NOT ME, either. Someone has to be related, or at least knew he should not be driving. The ignition keys were apparent easily accessible if he was not authorized to drive the automobile I encountered him in.

    He eventually drove away at 15mph on a 45mph road.

    Pretty scary to think how many people are doing exactly what this gentleman was doing.

    3+
    • Huh? says

      While inconvenient, as a responsible member of society, you should have called the authorities to get the gentleman off the road. If he drove off and hurt anyone, your negligence is in part to blame. That is what is wrong with the world, and people like you. You couldn’t be bothered to help this poor guy. You are just worried about yourself and expect everyone else to take care of things for you.

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      • Not Economically Viable says

        Nah, there is no negligence on my part. I’m just a private citizen with no obligation to do anything.

        Plenty of other people drove by with the opportunity to be nosey including emergency responders.

        3+
        • Not Economically Viable says

          The problem with people like you is that you take an incomplete story and presume too much.

          This gentleman told me was alright and was taking a break for a few minutes after I offered him a water and asked if he was OK.

          If he told the “authorities” that, what are they going to do?

          He obviously drove and parked where I talked to him and drove off without incident.

          I only ASSumed he had some age related mental health issues going on based on his demeanor and candor as I experienced that with other people I know.

          1+
      • Laughing loudly says

        I love people like “Huh?” First to point fingers and talk about what people should or shouldn’t do.

        So, We all should dial “authorities” every time I see someone driving and looking at a cell phone in their hand because they might cause a horrible automobile crash with injuries? Using your logic, it’s my negligence I didn’t act to prevent that crash.

        Tell me your latest good Samaritan story so I can help you pat yourself on your back.

        1+
  6. Think before you speak says

    So what is your solution? To do nothing? That’s worse than spending money. Don’t kid yourself. Addiction finds its way into the best families. Families that spend time with their kids. Families that talk to their children. What is your solution for them, to lock their kids away and never let them experience life. Yes, I agree parents have to be vigilant about keeping this crap away from their kids, to discipline children and teach them the realities of the world – but if this were your child or someone you cared about, i tend to think that you might see things differently.

    3+
    • Money Won't Fix It says

      The affected families can spend the money to take care of their loved ones; not the taxpayers. That’s how it works for other “diseases.” There is no money fairy. You do realize where the money comes from , right?

      4+
      • Think before you speak says

        Of course I know where the money comes from. And while I agree that family insurance or payment should be the first money for treatment, that is not always available. As you said, this is a societal issue, and it runs across several, including Health Care – but that is another topic for another day. Much of this money is used for awareness and outreach – prevention before it becomes a problem. I don’t see that as a waste.

        2+
  7. K says

    Can someone recommend an informational source, discussing factual data in Maryland, Harford County specifically, about how many people are using heroin, are law enforcement and medical personnel using Narcan on the same people over and over again, how many addicts after being revived seek treatment, what type of treatment are they seeking, is the treatment working, etcetera. Based on the huge amounts of limited resources being used, as in tax payer funding, the information the public receives from our elected employees makes it sound like 1 out of 2 people are heroin addicts. Based on historical information, plus the generic information we the public are being fed, I’d say the current intervention programs are failures. In addition, I don’t understand why, if a person overdoses on a schedule 1 controlled substance and survives they are not arrested versus someone using cannabis, also a schedule 1 substance (who knows why) somehow getting arrested for it (I’m not including drug traffickers), and going to jail? I’d say the heroin addiction business is booming and lots of the working folks hard earned money is being used. Isn’t this considered throwing good money after bad? Addiction of any kind is horrible.

    4+
    • SoulCrusher says

      We live in an era where a person who murders someone does not receive the Death Penalty. Come on. If they won’t execute a murderer, do you really think they will allow a person to die from an overdose? Let’s be realistic…..

      1+
  8. Cynical Sinner says

    Think how many people will be out of a job if ya’ll could snap yo’ fingers and just instantly stop something like heroin addiction.

    Fact is, people’s problems puts food on the table for someone else.

    Love it.

    6+
    • Cynical Sinner says

      Before you call me an asshole, I know someone in lawful and regulated Pharmaceutical sales.

      You wanna talk about rolling in the money? What’s that car cost? $30,000, let me write a check. Tipping home contractors a thousand bucks just getting the (expensive) job done on time.

      I’m jealous. Wish I had gone into that trade.

      Believe that. They wouldn’t want a lot of the medicine they sell to become useless if there are cures for these diseases.

      3+
      • Barbara says

        Although not new, it is a newly recognized growing industry that is giving lots of jobs to people. They do not want to upset this industry. In fact they want it to grow. The more publicity that is given to the heroin issue the more it will grow. The more we tell heroin users that they are victims and not criminals for using this illegal drug, the more who will try it and get hooked. After all, they are victims of the bad person who sold the drug to them because they wanted it.

        We beat up on Doctors who prescribe an opioids drug for legitimate purposes and blame them for getting people hooked. We fail to mention the hundreds of thousands who are prescribed an opioid pain medication and never get hooked.

        3+
  9. SoulCrusher says

    This “epidemic” is not the recent crisis we are being told. This “epidemic” has been going on for decades and it has been ignored. To much emphasis was being put on drugs that simply do not have the addictive properties of opioids. To much crime is generated from the opioids as well. Burglary, theft, armed robbery and numerous other violent crimes are committed by addicts who MUST have the next fix or they feel like they are dying. I’ve been told by some who use Methadone, that withdrawal from Methadone is even worse than the real deal. So, is Methadone the answer? How many clinics are actually trying to wean the addicts off of the Methadone like they are supposed to? I’m sure we all know the answer and it is part of the tragedy as well. You see, opioid addiction is a big business all around, both legally and illegally. I often wonder if those who claim to want this “epidemic” stifled, really want it to go away. What do you think?

    2+
  10. Miss Gulch says

    What a disturbing waste of taxpayer dollars for largely “fluff,” that in the end won’t do much to deal with this epidemic in a meaningful way. We need a multi prong approach that cuts off the supply by interdiction, stronger sentencing for dealers and other criminals involved in gun violence.

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