Baltimore gets $200,000 to fight overdoses (WYPR)

The Baltimore City Health Department is getting a new $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute – Baltimore to aid in the fight against opioid overdoses, city Health Commissioner Leana Wen announced Monday. The money is slated to pay for real-time alerts about overdose spikes and new community engagement efforts.

Through the new program, the health department gets an alert from public safety and hospital officials. Outreach teams then go to areas with large numbers of overdoses to educate the community about the Fentanyl that may be mixed in with Heroin, and about how to use Narcan — the brand name for the drug Naloxone — to stop an overdose.

Wen said one of the biggest challenges her agency faces is the stigma attached to treating opioid addiction.

Read the entire article. 

Related Stories

Dr. Leana Wen Is Leaving BCHD to Lead Planned Parenthood (WYPR)

As a patient advocate and an emergency physician, Dr. Wen has led the Baltimore City Health Department since January 2015. She has devoted her career to expanding access to health care for low income communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to some of the most challenging public health problems today, from opioid abuse and teen pregnancy to the epidemic of gun violence.

Listen to the segment.

The youngest victims of the opioid epidemic (Axios)

In a video covering the opioid epidemic and highlighting babies born with withdrawal symptoms, Dr. Wen addresses another issue in combatting the crisis.

"When addiction seemed to affect poor people of color in inner cities, it was seen as a moral failing - a choice. Unless we address these deep rooted issues, we’re not going to make progress in treating addiction as the disease that we know it to be."

Watch the video here.

 

It's Time To Go Further to End the Opioid Crisis (The American Prospect)

The rising death toll is a warning that Congress and the White House need to take more decisive action. If they can’t, or won’t, Americans should turn to the courts.

Read the entire story.