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McKay Issues Statement In Support Of Hogan Opioid Plan

February 8th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

District 1C Delegate Mike McKay issued this statement today on Governor Larry Hogan's Opioiod plan:

As a member of the Appropriations Committee, we applaud the approach of Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford who have laid out a plan focusing on a prevention, treatment, and enforcement.

Each proposal is a pivotal aspect in combating the heroin and opioid crisis. We as a State must continue to be committed to remaining proactive, aggressive, and assertive as we respond to this constantly evolving emergency – this is not a political issue; this is about saving lives.

By an amendment to the 2015 Executive Order which created the Inter-Agency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council, the planned amendment would authorize the Council to establish the Opioid Operational Command Center. This Command Center will facilitate collaboration between 12 state and local entities to reduce the impact to our communities to this awful and deadly situation in which we find ourselves. 

Prevention will be strengthened with the passage of two proposed pieces of legislation aimed at preventing addiction from taking root and ensuring that if addiction does take place that proper means are in place to prevent overdoses from becoming fatal.

In the area of treatment, we look forward to voting in favor of $1.3 billion for mental health and substance use disorders in the 2018 budget and $4 million in new funding to help those struggling with this horrible addiction to heroin and opioid prescriptions. In fiscal year 2017, Governor Hogan increased funding for treatment beds for substance abuse patients by over 50% over the previous administration. We praise the administration for sustaining this increase for fiscal year 2018.

By supporting local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, we will work together to target the drug traffickers that profit from addiction. Together we can limit the days these dangerous drug dealers are on our streets.

Continuing on that promise, the Governor has asked the DHMH to propose the Prescriber Limits Act to limit the duration of prescription opioids prescribed upon the initial consultation or treatment to a 7-day supply, except in certain cases including treatment of pain associated with a cancer diagnosis, terminal illness, or the treatment of substance use disorders. This policy has been pursued by a number of states; the Center for Disease Control is a strong supporter of duration and dosage limits.

This crisis, called the worst in American history, has risen to the levels rivaling the death rates in the 1990 is due to AIDS. We as a community came together to attack that catastrophe. Together we can do the same, because it is about saving lives. This predicament in which we find ourselves is impacting every section of our state, regardless of race, wealth or locality.

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