Bills Introduced to Help Crack Heroin Crisis

Legislators have not lost sight of the fact that opioids and overdoses continue to plague communities around the state. Bill proposals are abound tackling everything from expanding treatment and recovery services to increasing access to naloxone.

As reported in The Capital Gazette:

He’s sponsoring the Recovery Residence Residential Rights Protection Act, which would require the state to create a list of sober homes and whether they are certified that treatment providers can provide to patients when they are discharged.

[Deleate Seth] Howard said the list would help to bridge the gap between detoxification programs and longer-term recovery options.

House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, R-Pasadena, is proposing several bills of his own focused on recovery homes.

One would allow state money to be used for services at abstinence-only residences. Currently, the state will not reimburse recovery homes that do not accept patients on medication-assisted treatment.

[Delegate Dan] Morhaim, an emergency room doctor, has several of his own proposals, some of which he said are drawn from his experience interacting with patients.

One, which would initiate a pilot program establishing “safer drug consumption facilities,” has been controversial among elected officials.

The proposal would create spaces where people can use drugs under clinical supervision, meet with drug counselors and be connected to treatment services.

Del. Eric Bromwell, a Baltimore County Democrat who serves as vice chair of the House’s Health and Government Operations committee, said he knows of at least 10 bills in the pipeline.

“We are really trying to open up to new ideas,” he said.

Bromwell said he’s seen an increased focus on prevention measures. While expanding access to overdose-reversing drugs such as naloxone has saved lives, it’s “not a fix for substance abuse,” he said. “We want to make sure people don’t get to that point in the first place.”

There are also efforts to expand treatment services.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, Governor Hogan has also announced a package legislation to address opioid addiction and overdoses.

Read The Capital Gazette for more information.