Grant Awarded To Fight Opioid Epidemic In Western Md.

It seeks to educate citizens about treatment and resources to combat addictions.

Washington DC. (KM) An AmeriCorps grant totaling $37,203 has been awarded to Frostburg State University. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) said it will be used to educate communities on ways to fight opioid addictions. “We’ve got a devastating opioid epidemic in Maryland and throughout the country. We need to use all the tools at our disposal to address the program,” he says.

AmeriCorps members will use the funds to educate 450 community members in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett Counties about drug abuse resources available, and treatment programs. They will do this by organizing forums, one-on-one meetings, hotlines and other activities.

Van Hollen says the way to combat opioid addiction is through prevention intervention and treatment, but preventing addictions is always the preferred way to go. “The best case scenario is to alert people up front to the dangers and the signs that somebody may be falling into an addiction so you can really address these issues at the beginning,” he says.

Educating citizens may sound like a small thing, but Van Hollen says even something like this can make a dent in the opioid abuse problem. “The more we can get in front of this epidemic and put an end to it, the better off we’ll be. And that’s why every effort counts. We believe this is an important effort. It’s just one piece of the battle,”: he says.

Senator Van Hollen says opioid addiction is a serious problem in Maryland, and across the US, and it’s not only in urban areas. “When I’m in western Maryland, I hear about it. And when I’m on the Eastern Shore, I hear about it. When I’m in Baltimore city or Montgomery County, no matter where I’m in the state, it’s a real problem,” he says.

The AmeriCorps Grant comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service and funds the Conquering Opiate Abuse Together (COAT) program. which help combat opioid abuse in western Maryland.


By Kevin McManus