Baltimore County Opioid Response Working Group Shares Draft Report

Baltimore County's Opioid Response Working Group has released a draft report of recommendations aimed at advancing the county's opioid epidemic efforts. From a Baltimore County news release: The recommendations fall into seven categories, including: Stigma Prevention Treatment Recovery Family support Criminal justice Harm reduction ... Baltimore County has the second highest number of overdose deaths in the state—in 2018, 348 people died from opioid-related overdoses, up from 323 in 2017. Olszewski’s Transition Team made a number…

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MACo Announces 2020 Legislative Initiatives

MACo to prioritize education funding, school construction, health crises, and implied preemption in the 2020 session.  MACo’s Legislative Committee voted at their September 18, 2019 meeting to adopt the Association’s four priorities for the 2020 Session. These issues cover a broad range of important county concerns that MACo will proactively advocate for in front of the General Assembly. School Funding – Funding Fairness, County Role The 2020 Session will feature a generational debate about school…

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Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy. What’s Next for Opioid Lawsuits?

Purdue Pharma has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is the latest but far from the final update in the pursuit of litigation against opioid companies for their role in contributing to the opioid crisis. Questions remain as to what the settlement will mean for the Sackler family who owned Purdue; the 24 states and more than 2,000 local governments that have agreed to the settlement which is valued at $10-12 billion with a $3…

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MDH Confirms State’s First Case of West Nile Virus This Year

Officials from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) have confirmed the first person this year to be infected with the West Nile virus in Maryland. From My MC Media: The infected individual is an adult living in the National Capital Region in Maryland. The Health Department routinely tracks and responds to mosquito-borne infections; no other locally acquired insect-borne infections have been identified this year in the state. The number of human West Nile virus cases…

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Lower Shore Crisis Stabilization Center Receives Boost of Grant Funding

The grant of $532,109 will help fund the lower eastern shore counties' -- Worcester, Wicomico, and Somerset -- crisis stabilization center. The stabilization center is the result of a partnership the tri-county health departments and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. From a Worcester County news release: The funding awarded by the project will benefit individuals seeking urgent help for substance-use disorders. These individuals will receive access to a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment, along with…

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Opioid Litigation Takes a Turn with Potential Purdue Settlement

The latest development in the nationwide litigation efforts against opioid companies is shaping up to be a game-changer. Purdue Pharma has tentatively reached a settlement with 23 states and over 2,000 cities that sued the company over its role in creating the opioid crisis. The deal is estimated to be between $10-12 bilion with a $3 billion guarantee over 7 years to be distributed to the aggrieved jurisdictions. If finalized it would remove Purdue from all…

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Sun Calls for Support of Trauma-Informed Care Act

A piece by the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board urges the Baltimore City Council not only to pass a bill introduced by City Councilman Zeke Cohen but to also back it with a financial commitment to help secure its success. The Trauma-Informed Care Act would ensure that city employees are properly trained to help youths that have experienced traumatic events. From the Sun editorial: We stand behind the idea, which would have employees at all levels of government…

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Feds Fund Baltimore City and Prince George’s to Fight Youth Homelessness

Baltimore City and Prince George's County have received nearly $3.7 million and $3.5 million respectively in federal funding to help end youth homelessness. The awards were part of a $75 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program which funded 23 jurisdictions nationwide. From a HUD press release: HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) will help these communities to build local systems and will support a wide range of housing programs including rapid rehousing, permanent…

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Michigan Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes

In an effort to protect youth from the potentially harmful effects of vaping, Michigan has become the first state in the nation to ban flavored e-cigarettes. The state joins several cities, including San Francisco, to restrict or ban e-cigarette sales. The Washington Post reports: The ban, which covers both retail and online sales, will go into effect as soon as the health department issues rules, sometime in the next 30 days. It will last for…

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HHS Announces Nearly $2 Billion in Opioid Funding

State and local governments can anticipate more federal money to support their fights against the opioid epidemic. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced nearly $2 billion in funding. The funding will be distributed through grant programs administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). From an HHS news release: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced…

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