A bill authorizing law enforcement officers to report information related to an overdose within 24 hours of responding to the incident is a potential aid to county efforts to obtain reliable data concerning opioid overdoses in each jurisdiction. MACo Legislative Director Natasha Mehu appeared before the House Health and Government Operations Committee on February 13, 2018 to testify in support of House Bill 359, “Health – Reporting of Overdose Information”, with amendments.
Counties encourage law enforcement officers and other health providers to promptly submit data related to overdoses that they have responded to. This would provide local jurisdictions with added flexibility and accurate data that will help them in developing effective ways to tackle the opioid crisis.
From MACo Testimony:
As Maryland continues to grapple with the opioid crisis, it is vital that local governments and first responders have timely and accurate information regarding overdoses. Secure online platforms that provide the ability to track overdoses across jurisdictional lines are valuable tools for pinpointing spikes in overdoses and observing patterns of use and distribution. This information would help governments efficiently manage the use of their resources to address the threats to public health and public safety.”
Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.