MACo Supports Fighting The Heroin & Opioid Epidemic Through Maryland’s Public Schools

MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson testified in support of legislation (HB 1082 and SB 1060) which seeks to spread awareness, reduce overdose deaths and prevent addiction through programs educating students in Maryland’s public school system.

MACo’s testimony states,

HB 1082 requires the State Board of Education to develop age appropriate drug addiction and education programs in primary and secondary schools. Teachers for these programs are to be trained in drug addiction and education programs. This approach recognizes the need to teach children about the dangers of addiction at an early age. The children would gain reasonable knowledgeable about the issues well before they ever have to confront them in a peer or other setting.

The bill also directs local school boards to have school nurses trained to administer opioid overdose medication and schools equipped with the opioid overdose medication.

HB 1082 requires higher education institutions that receive state funding to establish heroin and opioid education and prevention policies. The policies shall require special awareness training for incoming students, campus police, and health personnel. While alcohol abuse information has become a staple at college campuses, current circumstances make it clear that freshman need to also receive opioid awareness trainings.

HB 1082 was heard by the House Health and Government Operations Committee on March 7, 2017. SB 1060 was heard by the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on March 8, 2017.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 Legislative Session here.