Western Maryland Officials Briefed on Opioid Crisis

Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center, Clay Stamp, gave an update to Western Maryland officials on his offices’ statewide, comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid epidemic.

While providing his overview Stamp remarked on the challenges of getting community buy-in. Much of the action the state is coordinating will be done on the local level through the county opioid intervention teams. The governor has budgeted significant funding for programs spearheaded by these teams.

As reported in The Herald-Mail:

Stamp gave a status report on the state’s efforts to Western Maryland legislators gathered Thursday at Beaver Creek Country Club. Lawmakers from Washington, Frederick, Allegany and Garrett counties attended.

“It’s a crisis that carries “‘a lot of stigma,’” Stamp said. “There are a lot of competing interests around it.”

The state’s balanced approach of prevention and treatment has been “a hard sell” in communities, he said.

The article also notes that Stamp’s team is overseeing coordination between 14 state agencies and has developed four goals and four strategies. The four goals focus on prevention, access to treatment, enforcement, and reducing the number of overdoses. The four strategies involve spreading awareness to reduce stigma, focusing on a balance approach, using data as a centerpiece of program evaluations, and setting long-term expectations.