Baltimore Health Commissioner: Money for opioid crisis helps, but still not enough (Baltimore Business Journal)

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To much fanfare last year, President Donald Trump ordered his administration to declare a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic. “As Americans, we cannot allow this to continue,” Trump said at the time. “It is time to liberate our communities from this scourge of drug addiction.”

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Baltimore City Health Department received a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute — Baltimore to support efforts to reduce stigma around addiction and increase community outreach.

The grant comes as Gov. Larry Hogan announced Friday that Baltimore City will be allotted over $3 million in new state funding to battle the ongoing opioid crisis.

Of the $22 million in funding announced last week, the state has committed $750,000 to buy 10,000 units, or 20,000 doses, of the opioid reversal drug Naloxone, $830,429 to go to the city's Opioid Intervention Team and $2 million to support the operational costs of an upcoming stabilization center to treat individuals battling addiction and mental health issues.

But Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore's health commissioner, said the city still needs a lot more. Baltimore City experienced one-third of all of Maryland’s more than 1,800 overdose deaths in 2016. About two people die per day in the city limits, Wen said. She says the most money and resources should continue to be dedicated to fighting the crisis "on the front lines," in the city where the most people are being affected.

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