Baltimore City Health Commissioner Declares Code Red Heat Advisory for Saturday and Sunday

Keep Hydrated and Reduce Outside Activity with Artscape Festivities.

"Baltimore's heroin task force wants 24-hour treatment options to stem overdoses" (Baltimore Sun) July 13, 2015

To stem the growing heroin addiction rates and overdose deaths, a Baltimore task force plans to unveil a more than $20 million proposal Monday that includes around-the-clock treatment options. "What we need to do is move the needle in Baltimore City," said Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen. "There are a lot of partners already working with the city."

Mayor’s Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force Recommendations Released

The Mayor’s Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force today called for 10 bold steps to attack the city’s epidemic heroin and opioid addiction problem, including having 24/7 “treatment on demand” for substance users and a public education campaign to encourage treatment and combat stigma. Convened by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in October 2014, the Task Force was co-chaired by Bernard J. McBride, CEO Behavioral Health System Baltimore, and Dr. Samuel Ross, CEO of Bon Secours Baltimore Health System, and was comprised of 35 community leaders, public health experts and government representatives.

Health Department Announces “B’more Health Talks” Biweekly Community Forums

The Baltimore City Health Department announces its new “B’more Health Talks” initiative, a biweekly community forum being held via phone call-in to discuss citywide health issues such as reducing health disparities.  The forums will be held the second and fourth Friday of each month at 12:30 pm, starting this Friday, July 10.

B’more Health Talks is designed to be interactive, will be hosted by Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen, and will include guests on each show. Among its goals are to share and collaborate around the work that many different organizations in Baltimore are doing and align around #OneBaltimore efforts.

Individuals wishing to participate in the chat should call 1-760-569-7171, and use code 117-245-291.  A Tweet Chat at #BmoreHealthTalks will also be available.

"Rising cost of overdose treatment drug alarms city" (Baltimore Sun) July 8, 2015

Baltimore officials and others are alarmed at a nearly a fourfold jump in the cost of a drug used to save the lives of people who have overdosed on heroin — a price spike that has prompted calls for state and federal action. City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen says a leading manufacturer of naloxone has since spring raised the 10-dose cost from $97 to $370, with the most recent hike coming last week. "This means we can only save half the lives of patients we were able to before," Wen told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"Heroin use surges, addicting more women and middle-class" (USA Today) July 7, 2015

Heroin use is reaching into new communities — addicting more women and middle-class users — as people hooked on prescription painkillers transition to cheaper illegal drugs, a new report shows. The report shows that heroin addiction can affect anyone, said Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner and an emergency medicine physician.

"Deaths from fentanyl-laced heroin surge" (Baltimore Sun) July 7, 2015

Amid a statewide surge in overdoses, Baltimore health officials announced a campaign Monday to tell heroin users that the drug they buy on the street could contain the much more potent painkiller fentanyl. "It's unclear why it's happening in Baltimore now, but it is a trend throughout the state and country," said Dr. Leana Wen, the city's health commissioner. "Our goal is to alert the public, alert residents that heroin my be laced with fentanyl."

Fentanyl-Related Overdose Deaths Up 178% In Baltimore In First Quarter of 2015

Baltimore City health officials are issuing a warning and launching a public education effort about life-threatening fentanyl-laced heroin on the streets in Baltimore. In the first quarter of 2015 (January – March), there have been 39 overdose deaths in Baltimore associated with fentanyl, an increase of 178 percent from the same time in 2014 (14 deaths). There were 303 overdose deaths in Baltimore in 2014. “Fentanyl-laced heroin is killing individuals in our city," said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner.

"Baltimore officials express concern for children, seniors in summer heat" (Baltimore Sun) June 30, 2015

Leasia Carter, the 2-year-old girl who died after being left in an unattended car for nearly a day last week, isn't alone. The Baltimore toddler was one of about 650 U.S. children since 1998 to die after being left in a vehicle during hot weather, according to the Baltimore City Health Department. On Tuesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other city officials called attention to segments of the population considered to be more in danger during summer months: seniors and youngsters

"Warning To Parents: Do Not Leave Children Alone In A Hot Car" (WJZ) June 30, 2015

With one heat-related death in the city already this summer, city officials are issuing an important warning to parents. Two-year-old Leasia Carter was the city’s first heat-related death of 2015. Police say she’d been left inside a scalding hot car for nearly 16 hours by her father, 31-year-old Wilbert Leon Carter, who is now charged with murder. “This is a preventable tragedy, and it should never occur again,” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.