Opioid Addiction Treatment
Addiction is a disease. Treatment works. Recovery is possible.
BCHD works to expand access to the gold standard of addiction treatment: medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that includes psychosocial support (like counseling) and wraparound social services.
Get Help Now
In 2015, the City created a consolidated 24/7 Crisis, Information, & Referral hotline for anyone who needs help with mental health or substance use.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the hotline: (410) 433-5175. If you are calling on behalf of someone else, that person needs to be with you in order for a referral to be made.
Programs and Services:
Behavioral Health System Baltimore: Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB) is a quasi-governmental nonprofit organization that serves as Baltimore City’s public behavioral health authority, allocating resources for substance use disorder and mental health services to Baltimore service providers. The Health Commissioner serves as the Chair of BHSB’s Board of Directors, and BCHD works closely with BHSB in responding to the opioid epidemic. Click here for more information.
Baltimore City Stabilization Center:
In April 2018, the City’s Stabilization Center pilot began seeing patients, and full implementation is set for spring of 2019. The Stabilization Center provides a safe place for individuals who are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, one where they can receive short-term medical and social interventions. These include medical screening and monitoring, connections to behavioral health and social services, and initiating treatment for opioid addiction with buprenorphine. Through EMS transport, the Center diverts patients who meet specific criteria from emergency departments and provide stronger links to community-based behavioral health care. It creates a non-traditional access point for individuals with behavioral health needs who engage in high-risk substance use and related behaviors who are experiencing a crisis and/or at risk of overdose. This is the beginning of Baltimore's efforts to create a 24/7 behavioral health emergency department. Just as a patient with a physical complaint can go into an emergency department at any time of the day for treatment, a person suffering from addiction must be able to access treatment on-demand. Click here for more information.
Mobile Crisis Services
The City operates a mobile crisis team through Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. This team can respond to any mental health or substance use crisis in Baltimore City between 7:00 a.m. and midnight, providing immediate assessment, intervention, and treatment. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the 24/7 Crisis, Information, & Referral hotline at (410) 433-5175. If you are calling on behalf of someone else, that person needs to be with you when you call. Click here for more information.
Levels of Care for Baltimore City Hospitals Responding to the Opioid Epidemic:
In April 2018, BCHD joined with the City’s 11 acute-care hospitals to announce the Levels of Care for Baltimore City Hospitals Responding to the Opioid Epidemic, which will enshrine evidence-based hospital interventions and publicly recognize hospitals that implement them. A hospital can be level 3, 2, or 1—with a level 1 hospital responding to the epidemic as comprehensively as possible. The Levels of Care builds on progress already made by the City’s emergency departments, all of which will offer universal addiction screening, peer recovery specialists, and on-demand medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction by fall 2018. Click here for more information.
Real Time Capacity:
In fall 2017, the City created a simple tool to track real-time capacity for treatment among a small group of community-based providers. These providers update their capacity for new patients on a daily basis, and that information is used by the staff who operate the 24/7 Crisis, Information, and Referral hotline. This tool serves as a proof of concept for a more sophisticated tracking system that will operate across the public behavioral health system, which is being developed with support from the Open Society Institute—Baltimore.
Hub and Spokes:
In fall of 2017, the City began piloting a “hub and spokes” model of buprenorphine treatment that builds on the work of the Baltimore Buprenorphine Initiative, increasing the availability of addiction treatment in the primary care setting. The “hub”—Institute for Behavior Resources, Inc., REACH Health Services—is a low-threshold access point: on most days, patients can walk in and begin treatment without an appointment. Patients receive individualized, comprehensive care; all three medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of opioid use disorder are available. After a patient’s condition has improved, she has the option to continue her treatment at a primary care clinic—a “spoke”—where the treatment for opioid use disorder is integrated into the rest of her medical care. The hub works with each spoke to help the spoke providers feel comfortable incorporating addiction treatment into their practice.
As of April 2018, one hub and 11 spoke sites are online.