Baltimore City will get $2 million to open a 24-hour "sobering center" to help those addicted to drugs, part of a larger pool of money the state is giving out to every county to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic.
The Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention announced Friday how the more than $22 million would be distributed among the state's 24 jurisdictions. The money comes from funds the governor committed to fight the opioid epidemic, the federal government's 21st Century Cures Act and the state's crime control and prevention agency.
Eighty percent of the $22 million will go to local jurisdictions; the rest will be used to fund other efforts and programs, including collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement, to increase state regulatory oversight of controlled dangerous substances, increase the number of beds in residential drug treatment centers, and make improvements to the statewide crisis hotline
The city health department will also receive $750,000 to buy 20,000 doses of naloxone, the drug used to reverse an opioid overdose that health officials have had to ration because of a shortage. The city will get another $830,429 to fund treatment programs and other efforts to curb the number of opioid deaths and overdoses. City officials can also apply for grants that would make them eligible for up to $6 million in total funding, said Katie Kuehn, communications director with the state's opioid operational command center. The grant money is not guaranteed, however.
City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen said that although the money would help efforts to fight the opioid epidemic, the city should have received a larger proportion because it has been hit harder by the crisis than any other jurisdiction.
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