Recent News

Profiteering from the opioid crisis (USA Today)

Almost like magic, the drug naloxone can bring victims of opioid overdoses back from the brink of death. With more than 115 people dying each day from opioid overdoses across the country, the drug could save thousands of lives each year.

Except for one problem.

The prices of naloxone set by drug makers have skyrocketed, putting it beyond the reach of some police, first responders, community groups, and families and friends of overdose victims.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wenopioidsnaloxone

Extreme Heat Season Is On The Horizon (WJZ)

As summer approaches it’s important to be aware of extreme heat that can overwhelm some of Baltimore’s more sensitive residents.

The Baltimore City Health Department announced Tuesday that Code Red season is underway for the summer and warned of dangers that come with being exposed to too much heat. Extreme heat can lead to illnesses like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and respiratory disease.

Watch the video.

Leana Wen

Baltimore City Health Department Announces Beginning of 2018 Code Red Extreme Heat Season

BALTIMORE, MD (May 15, 2018)—The Baltimore City Health Department today announced the start of Baltimore City’s Code Red Extreme Heat season.

Extreme heat season begin in Baltimore City (WEAA)

The Baltimore City Health Department Tuesday announced the start of Baltimore City’s Code Red Extreme Heat season. Code Red Extreme Heat is a multi-agency effort to address the impact of extreme heat on residents of Baltimore City. 

Throughout the summer, City agencies provide public education to residents about the effects of sustained heat on health and perform community outreach regarding energy assistance programs for senior residents and other susceptible groups through Community Action Partnership Centers.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen

Fentanyl test strips detect deadly synthetic opioid in drug supply (Washington Times)

Public health advocates and officials are at odds over programs that allow drug users to bring in their illicit drugs to test them for a deadly synthetic opioid.

Leana Wenopioids

Bmore Healthy Newsletter: May 11, 2018

Click here to read the 5/11/18 newsletter.

In this issue: 

  • Note from the Commissioner
  • WJZ-TV: Dr. Wen Participates in Second “Standing Together” Town Hall 
  • Dr. Wen Speaks at The Atlantic: Justice in America Event in Washington, D.C. 
  • Dr. Wen Joins Advocates to Request Federal Government Take Action to Lower the Price of Naloxone 
  • Dr. Wen Provides Introductory Remarks at Nicholas Kristof’s “Building a Fairer Society” Lecture
  • & More

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Healthwatch with Dr. Leana Wen: Heart Disease, Opioids, Synthetic Weed Warnings (WYPR)

In this edition of Dr. Wen's regular Healthwatch segment on WYPR's Midday with Tom Hall, she gives tips for heart health, provides and update on the City's teen pregnancy prevention lawsuit against the Trump administration, and warns against the danger of synthetic cannabis. 

Listen here.

Leana Wenopioids

Note From The Commissioner: Treating Addiction in our Hospitals

Last week, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and I convened all 11 hospitals in Baltimore to announce our partnership to combat the opioid epidemic. Addiction is a disease. Treatment for it cannot be siloed and stigmatized.

Baltimore City hospitals have done exceptional work already. Nearly all of our City’s ERs offer medication-assisted treatment on demand and peer recovery specialists, something true of no other major city in America. Through my standing order for naloxone, more than 36,000 residents have been trained to use the antidote medication, and these residents have saved more than 1,900 lives. Law enforcement and health officials teamed up to start a program that allows residents arrested for low-level drug offenses the opportunity to choose treatment and case management instead of prosecution. In March, we announced the opening of our Stabilization Center, a first-of-its-kind 24/7 urgent care facility dedicated to issues of addiction and mental health.

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Narcan saved me from an opioid overdose. President Trump should make this drug cheaper. (USA Today)

In his op-ed, Communities United Activist Perry Hopkins tells his story of being revived by Narcan, and explains the need for naloxone to be cheaper, and what the federal government can do about it. 

Read the entire story.


More judges order administration to restore pregnancy prevention funds (Salon)

Two more federal judges have ordered the Trump administration to restore funding for teen pregnancy prevention programs that were abruptly eliminated. 

U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ decision was “arbitrary and capricious” when it axed $5 million in funding for the city of Baltimore and the Baltimore nonprofit Healthy Teen Network.

Read the entire story.

Leana Wen