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Maryland Gets Federal Grant To Support Fight Against Opioid Addiction

March 12th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell on Friday announced a $1.79 million grant to support substance abuse services in Maryland, specifically focusing on opioid use disorders in under-served communities

“The opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing public health issues in the United States today,” Burwell said in a statement. “Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment and integrating these services in health centers bolsters nationwide efforts to curb opioid misuse and abuse, supports approximately 124,000 new patients accessing substance use treatment for recovery and helps save lives.”

Abuse of opioids, including heroin and prescription medication, is a growing problem, and Gov. Larry Hogan has made combating Maryland's addiction issues a priority since he took office. Nationwide, Burwell's department estimates that the number of unintentional overdose deaths nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2013, and heroin-related deaths spiked 39 percent between 2012 and 2013.

The grants will allow five clinics to screen and treat more patients, and provide training and resources for health professionals. The grants in Maryland are among $94 million in grants nationwide to help 800 providers serve nearly 124,000 new patients.

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