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Lt. Governor Announces Funding to help address Opioid Crisis

January 10th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today joined state and local leaders to announce new Hogan administration initiatives to expand substance use prevention and treatment efforts, as well as a new executive order to study mental and behavioral health in Maryland, with a special emphasis on the correlation between mental illness and substance use disorders. The lieutenant governor spoke at a press conference hosted at Helping Up Mission in East Baltimore, and was joined by Secretary Bobby Neall of the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), Executive Director Steve Schuh of the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC), and CEO Robert Gehman of Helping Up Mission, as well as numerous other state and local officials and addiction advocates.

“Fighting the ever-changing heroin and opioid epidemic here in Maryland has been a top priority of Governor Hogan and our administration for the last four years,” Lt. Governor Rutherford said. “We have been laser-focused on implementing a holistic, multi-pronged approach to combating this epidemic that includes prevention, treatment, recovery, and enforcement. This epidemic transcends every demographic — it can, and it does, happen to anyone, no matter one’s race, economic situation, education, or community.”

To date, the Hogan administration has invested over $800 million to address substance use disorders and the ongoing opioid epidemic. Lt. Governor Rutherford announced an increase of $500 million in new funding over Fiscal Year 2019. This includes $247.8 million for the Governor’s Allowance in general funds for substance use disorder services; a $41.8 million, or 20 percent, increase over Fiscal Year 2019 levels. Additionally, the lieutenant governor announced:

  • $172 million of dedicated funding to existing non-Medicaid substance use disorder and addiction programs;
  • $66 million over two years in new federal grants to initiate and expand opioid prevention and treatment services;
  • A third installment of $10 million to fund the activities of the Opioid Operational Command Center — now housed within the Maryland Emergency Management Agency — in keeping with Governor Hogan’s five-year, $50 million commitment;
  • $3 million to establish new and expand existing behavioral health crisis response programs and services for local jurisdictions, in addition to funding for four new residential crisis beds in Somerset County;
  • $378 million over five years for the design and construction of a Therapeutic Treatment Center in Baltimore City, a specialized facility that will provide mental health and substance use treatment services and care to nonviolent offenders upon entry into the criminal justice system, with the goal of reducing recidivism;
  • Capital budget funding for recovery residences, including:
    • $1 million for the Community Mental Health, Addiction, and Development Facilities Grant Program within the Maryland Department of Health; and
    • $1 million for the Shelter and Transitional Housing Facilities Grant Program within the Department of Housing and Community Development;
  • Capital budget funding for local treatment and community organizations, including:
  • $1 million for the Helping Up Mission women’s and children’s facility;
  • $500,000 for the Frederick County Detox Treatment facility; and
  • $750,000 for the Harford County Crisis Center.

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