Commissioner Wen Issues Statement Regarding the State's Announced Budget Proposals for Anti-Heroin Initiatives


BALTIMORE, MD (January 28, 2016)–Today, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen issued the following statement regarding the State's announced budget proposals for anti-heroin initiatives:

“The Baltimore City Health Department commends the anti-heroin initiatives announced by our State partners today. By implementing programs like the proposed Public Awareness Campaign for Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law, we can better educate the public that substance addiction is a disease and that recovery is possible.

However, we also believe that significantly more funding is needed. We need far more investment to expand on-demand treatment to ensure that all who suffer from addiction have access to the evidence-based treatment they require.

In July 2015, Baltimore City Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s Task Force on Heroin Prevention and Treatment laid out a 10-point plan for combating heroin use. The City has already implemented six of these recommendations, including an anti-stigma campaign, Don’, an ambitious overdose prevention plan, and a 24/7 crisis and response phone line.

We hope that there will be additional State resources for Baltimore City to assist with the other key recommendations, such as support for operating the new Stabilization Center and augmenting case management services for individuals most at risk.

We look forward to continuing to work with the State to ensure that more resources are available to communities most affected, and so that we can collectively address the epidemic of overdose and addiction in Baltimore and Maryland.”

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