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Governor, Lt. Governor Announce 2017 Heroin and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative

January 24th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford today joined with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader, Governor’s Office of Crime, Control, and Prevention Executive Director Glenn Fueston, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Wes Adams, and Anne Arundel Medical Center President Victoria Bayless at the Anne Arundel Medical Center to announce the administration’s 2017 Heroin and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative, a multi-pronged and sweeping administrative and legislative effort to continue addressing Maryland’s ongoing opioid and heroin epidemic.

The administration’s 2017 Heroin and Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative includes the creation of a statewide Opioid Operational Command Center to assist in breaking down governmental silos and to aid in the coordination of federal, state, and local resources. In addition to $4 million new funding, three new pieces of legislation are also being proposed: the Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act, the Prescriber Limits Act, and the Overdose Prevention Act.

"Marylanders from one end of the state to the other know the devastation that heroin and opioid abuse can cause," said Governor Hogan. "It’s under the surface of every community, and we decided we were going to shine a spotlight on this, to try to find as many possible solutions as we could. Today, we are announcing our 2017 Heroin Treatment, Prevention, and Enforcement Initiative, because as this crisis evolves, so must our response to it.”

“The reality is that the heroin problem in Maryland has changed with the emergence of cheap and potent synthetic opioids, which pose a new threat to our communities,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “The Governor and I look forward to working with members of the legislature to enact these common sense proposals, as we continue to use all the tools at our disposal to address this crisis and to save lives.”

Since forcefully recognizing and identifying the rapidly growing opioid and heroin epidemic three years ago during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford have made proactively addressing this crisis a cornerstone of the administration’s agenda. 

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