As required by the Overdose Prevention Council and as part of the Governor’s efforts to reduce overdose deaths by 20 percent by the end of 2015, a consolidated plan to expand access to naloxone has been released by Maryland State Police (MSP), Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS), and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). As outlined in Responding to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic: Maryland’s Approach to Expanding Access to Naloxone:
Highlights from each plan include:
- Training and equipping all MSP road patrol troopers with naloxone by October 1, 2014.
- Requiring every Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) across the state to be trained in the administration of intranasal nalxone and every Public Safety transport unit to carry naloxone.
- Expanding outreach, education, and training opportunities for local law enforcement officers through DHMH programs.
- Considering pursuing legislation to expand access to naloxone through the Overdose Response Program.
Naloxone is a medication that can be used to reverse an opioid overdose.
As previously reported on Conduit Street, on June 27, 2014 Governor O’Malley issued an Executive Order establishing an Overdose Prevention Council. The Council is tasked in part with advising the Governor on a statewide plan to reduce fatal and non-fatal overdoses as well as developing recommendations for policies, regulations or legislation to address the opioid overdose epidemic. The Order specifically requires that:
(5) The Department of State Police, the Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shall work together to train and equip first responders, including law enforcement officers, to administer naloxone to individuals who may have experienced a drug overdose. Within 60 days, the Department of State Police, the Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shall each submit to the Office of the Governor and the Council that agency’s plan for expanding training for naloxone distribution.