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Baltimore and state announce more money to fight opioid crisis


Dr. Leana Wen, the Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

The Open Society Institute-Baltimore gave the Baltimore City Health Department $200,000 to help fight the opioid crisis, capping a stretch of increased funding for the opioid crisis across the city and state.

The grant money will fund health department initiatives to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and to increase rapid engagement to prevent spikes in overdoses. 

The money will also help fund efforts to increase rapid responses to spikes in overdoses. The city will be able to send more outreach teams to places where overdose spikes have occurred. 

Fatal overdose spikes are often associated with a “bad batch” of heroin and quickly getting information about where that batch came from can save lives.

“Baltimore City is on the front lines of the epidemic,” said Dr. Leana Wen, the city’s health commissioner. “We know what works; we will continue to work with all of our partners to obtain the resources we desperately need to save lives.”

Open Society-Baltimore is a public charity focused on finding solutions to problems in the city, including drug addiction.

Monday’s grant followed an announcement Friday that the city would receive more than $3 million from the state to fight the crisis, including $2 million to create an opioid crisis center. The state also announced $830,000 to fund a local Opioid Intervention Team and $750,000 to buy 20,000 doses of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

“This new funding will make real differences in people’s lives as we work together to turn the tide in this deadly fight,” said Gov. Larry Hogan.

Hogan announced a state of emergency for the state’s opioid crisis in March.

In 2016, 694 of the state’s 2,089 overdose deaths happened in Baltimore. Last month, federal data found that in 2014, Maryland had the highest rate of hospitalization for opioid-related reasons in the country.

Overall, Hogan announced $22 million in aid to the state for the 2018 fiscal year, including $12 million in state funds and $10 million in federal funds from the 21st Century Cures Act.

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One comment


    I’m sick of the hand outs for people that choose to do wrong. There is nothing for people trying to do right. I’m ready for Dr. Lena Wen to go.