April 16, 2024
Annapolis, US 71 F

Schuh expands “Safe Stations” initiative to battle County’s opioid crisis

Safe StationsCounty Executive Steve Schuh today announced that Anne Arundel County will invest $200,000 to expand the “Safe Stations” anti-opioid initiative across Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City.

The program’s expansion was made possible as a result of a $287,000 grant from the Hogan-Rutherford Administration, which recently pledged $22 million across the state to help fight the heroin opioid epidemic. Schuh also announced the remaining funds will dedicated to expanding the County’s education and outreach efforts.

“Every day our Safe Stations program is working to help our citizens break the cycle of addiction,” said Schuh. “We thank Governor Hogan for recognizing the effectiveness of this program and for making this expansion possible. The State of Maryland has been a fantastic part as we work to turn the tide against this horrific national epidemic.”

“Our ability to succeed in fighting this epidemic will continue to be driven by the significant support and cooperation of our federal and state agencies and local coordinated teams. Today’s announcement by County Executive Schuh is another example of Maryland’s commitment to combat the heroin and opioid crisis,” said Clay Stamp, executive director of the Opioid Operational Command Center. “By partnering with our local communities, we are increasing prevention through education and protection through enforcement, and ensuring that treatment services are available to those who need them, when they need them.”

The $200,000 investment will help add personnel to Anne Arundel County’s Crisis Response Teams to ensure their quicker deployment.

Launched on April 20th of this year, the Safe Stations program designated each Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City Fire Station, as well as County and City police stations, as a safe environment for individuals looking for assistance to start their path to recovery from heroin/opioid addiction.

At any time of day or night that an Anne Arundel County resident who is the victim of a heroin/opioid addiction decides or gathers up the courage to ask for help, they can go to any Anne Arundel County or Annapolis City Fire Station and speak to the personnel on duty. In close partnership with the Anne Arundel County Police and the Crisis Response Team, individuals seeking help will be assisted in obtaining the necessary detoxification resources.

Upon arrival to a designated Safe Station, the firefighters and paramedics will perform a medical assessment not to exceed their scope of training as Maryland Emergency Medical Services providers. If there is cause for concern that there is something else medically wrong with the patient, transportation to an appropriate medical facility will be completed.

The Crisis Response Warmline is then contacted at 410-768-5522 and advised that a Safe Station patient is being transported to the hospital by EMS. The Crisis Response Team will communicate with the hospital staff to ensure a handoff from the medical facility to crisis response.

If no immediate medical issue is identified, the Warmline is contacted and advised that there is a Safe Station case. Crisis Response Team works closely with the individual in the station to determine the best resource and destination available.

To date, the Safe Stations program has helped connect 94 citizens to treatment in the County.

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