County Executive Steve Schuh encourages every citizen to take time during Overdose Awareness Week to help educate their children, friends and neighbors about the dangers of addiction.
“Addiction is something that destroys too many lives in our county,” said Schuh. “While we are making crucial investments in overdose prevention on the county level, we need our friends and neighbors to help prevent tragedy and educate each other on the dangers of drug use.”
Governor Larry Hogan last week issued a statewide proclamation declaring the week of Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, to be Overdose Awareness Week in Maryland. During Overdose Awareness Week, communities will host such events as candlelight vigils, public art installations, and public hearings.
In January, County Executive Schuh announced a county-wide heroin public health emergency to help address the overdose crisis. In February, his Heroin Action Task Force produced a report with a series of recommendations to help stem the tide against heroin overdoses and deaths in the county. The enacted FY 2016 county budget implements many of the recommendations to help prevent heroin overdoses including:
- Investing $800,000 for the Health Department to initiate a new substance abuse treatment center.
- Increasing by 25 percent community grant funding for substance abuse providers to nearly $375,000.
- Investing more than $500,000 to fund a heroin enforcement intra-county law enforcement task force.
- Doubling the budget for the Police Department’s Drug Diversion Squad to more than $240,000.
- Nearly doubling the budget for crucial tools in the heroin fight, such as Narcan, to more than $85,000.
For more information on Maryland’s Overdose Awareness Week click here.