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DHMH Launches Substance Abuse Campaign

February 6th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

As part of the Hogan administration’s continued efforts to save lives and promote recovery amid the opioid crisis, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Behavioral Health Administration has released a series of public service announcements (PSAs) to be shown on TV and in movie theaters.

Behavioral Health teamed up with former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Zach Orr to address the stigma that surrounds substance use disorders – calling out the shame and stigma associated with this disease and promoting the value of treating it like any other disease. 

“Addressing the stigma surrounding heroin and opioid addiction head-on is paramount to ending this epidemic once and for all,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “I'd like to thank Zach Orr for joining with us to raise awareness of this crisis and help save the lives of Marylanders across the state.”

The PSAs are being broadcast in the wake of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent announcement of his 2017 Heroin and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative – which comprises an array of responses, such as increased treatment funding;, limiting opioid prescriptions at the start of medical consultation for pain management and providing screening and linkages to treatment via emergency departments.

“We all have to ‘team up’ to mobilize against the opioid crisis. These PSAs help raise awareness about how pervasive substance use disorders are in our society,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “They also stress the importance of making sure that people impacted by addiction – and the people who love them – are aware of the resources available to them.”

One PSA highlights the benefits of naloxone, the lifesaving drug that can reverse an overdose, and provides viewers the opportunity to learn more about how to recognize the signs of an overdose and how to potentially save a life. A Good Samaritan Law PSA informs viewers about the law that protects Marylanders from arrest or prosecution if they assist someone overdosing and call 911.

Marylanders who need help finding substance use disorder treatment resources should visit or call the Maryland Crisis Hotline, which provides 24/7 support, at 1-800-422-0009. For information on many of the activities currently implemented to fight substance use disorder and overdose in Maryland, see If you know of someone in need of treatment for a substance use disorder, treatment facilities can be found by location and program characteristics on our page at

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