The total amount is $668,000.
Washington DC (KM). Federal funding is coming to western Maryland to help fight the opioid crisis. A total of $668,000 is being provided by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The amount will be used to assist local health centers integrate services for mental health and substance abuse, which are often tied together.
“We need to realize that addiction is a medical issue, and not a legal issue. Where we’re locking up folks, we should be getting them help,” says 6th District Representative David Trone (D).
This $668,000 is part of $2.6-million in grants for the entire state of Maryland to battle the opioid crisis.
The City of Frederick will receive $167,000 from that grant. Other recipients which will be getting that same amount are The Tri-State Community Health Center in Hancock, the Walnut Street Community Health Center in Hagerstown and the Western Maryland Health Care Corporation in Oakland.
Trone says opioid addiction is a big problem in western Maryland. “Western Maryland–Allegany County, Washington County, Garrett County–are really ground zero in Maryland,” he says. “It’s in close proximity to West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania. That’s the real nexus.”
Trone has taken a lead on this issue. He’s the founder of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction in Congress. In addition, he’s spoken with those who are on the front lines in the opioid crisis, such as hospitals, health departments, first responders, police officers, mental health professionals, early childhood organizations and those who have suffered from opioid addictions.
He says this crisis doesn’t discriminate.It affects people in urban and rural areas. “Rich, poor, white, black, Republicans, Democrats. It takes no prisoners. 70,000 last year dead; about 200 a day,” says Trone.
This funding for the opioid crisis is made possible by the passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
By Kevin McManus