MACo Supports Strengthening Drug Overdose Prevention Programs

MACo Associate Director Natasha Mehu submitted written testimony in favor of legislation (HB 1549) that enhances state and local tools and helps improve the effectiveness of existing programs that help reduce overdose deaths and address addiction.

MACo’s testimony states,

The bill authorizes DHMH to revoke licenses for Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) manufacturers, distributors, and dispensers that fail to properly register. This strengthens the Department’s ability to enforce compliance and catch rogue businesses that handle highly addictive drugs that are subject to abuse.

The bill also authorizes local overdose fatality review teams to collect and analyze information related to near overdoses. These teams perform confidential reviews of drug and alcohol overdose deaths in order to identify ways to improve system level operations. However, they are currently only able to review fatal overdose data. The information that can be gleaned from an individual that has experienced an overdose, but survived, is valuable for preventing and responding to future overdose events.

This bill was heard by the House Health and Government Operations committee on March 16.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2017 legislative session here.