Howard County Corrections Awarded SBIRT Grant to Address Addiction

Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore has awarded an $86,000 grant to the Howard County Department of Corrections to establish a Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program to service pretrial and short sentenced inmates.

SBIRT is an evidence-based process used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic substance use and dependence; a tool the county hopes will prove helpful in addressing the opioid crisis. The grant allows the county to use SBIRT for the first time in a detention center setting.

As announced by Howard County:

Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today announced the county Department of Corrections is being given a Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant for nearly $86,000 from Behavioral Health System Baltimore to provide early intervention and treatment services to inmates with sentences less than six months or that are being temporarily held awaiting trial.  This is the latest tool in the fight against opioid addiction and is being deployed for the first time in a detention center setting.

“The pervasive opioid problem in our community requires that we have a variety of options available to us to break the cycle of addiction,” said Kittleman. “If we can offer treatment options even among lower-level offenders, we might be able to prevent them from coming back through the system for a longer stay.  The Department of Corrections sees many inmates that can benefit from these early support services.”

The SBIRT program has traditionally proven effective in hospital and other medical settings.  For the first time in a detention center, the grant, awarded for one year, will allow for trained staff to screen inmates, provide advice to at-risk individuals and offer referrals to treatment.  Corrections will partner with existing Howard County Health Department staff providing mental health and addiction services at the detention center.

“We may be able to prevent emergency responses, reduce medical expenses and even save lives if we can help divert these individuals from a path of addiction and crime,” said Jack Kavanagh, Director of Corrections. “This problem must be fought on multiple fronts and we are adding jail as one more place where we can make a difference.  With treatment options, maybe the time incarcerated can be productive.”

MACo will be hosting a forum at our 2017 Summer Conference on the opioid crisis. The Opioid Forum: Combating the Crisis, will be moderated by  Clay Stamp, Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center (OCCC) and will afford attendees the opportunity to ask questions, express concerns, and share best practices on addressing the opioid crisis. The forum will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 10:00 am – 11:15 am.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

You’ve Got Questions, We’ve Got Answers: Opioid Forum at #MACoCon

On Saturday of the 2017 MACo Summer Conference, the Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center, Clay Stamp, will hold a session to answer questions about the heroin and opioid crisis that is gripping our communities.

There is a lot of content to cover and we anticipate that there will be many questions. To help us get through as much material as possible, please submit your question in advance via this link: MACo Opioid Forum Survey

Mr. Stamp will answer the pre-submitted questions first and then answer questions from the audience. Forum details:

Opioid Forum: Combating the Crisis

Description: Earlier this year, Governor Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the intensification of Maryland’s heroin and opioid crisis – a move that helps provide state and county response agencies greater flexibility to collaborate on and launch prevention, treatment, and enforcement efforts. This forum provides an avenue for discussion on best practices and how we can partner together to move forward. Attendees are encouraged to attend and voice concerns, discuss what is needed, and to provide examples of what they are doing to stem the epidemic.

Speaker/Moderator: Clay B. Stamp, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC)

Date/Time: Saturday, August 19, 2017; 10:00 am – 11:15 am

YOU MUST BE REGISTERED FOR THE CONFERENCE TO ATTEND THIS SESSION.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Learn to Save a Life at #MACoCon – Overdose and CPR Training

“Stayin’ Alive” – Learn to Save a Life with Naloxone Training for Opioid Overdoses and Hands-Only CPR Training

Description: Participants will receive in-person, hands-on training and certification in recognizing and responding to opioid overdose with Naloxone. This prescription medication can safely and effectively reverse an opioid (heroin and prescription pain reliever) overdose. Upon completion of the training, participants will receive a certificate and a kit containing educational materials and the medication. Participants will also receive training in hands-only CPR. Bystander CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival. Get certified today – and find out how the classic disco song “Stayin’ Alive” can actually help you keep someone alive.

Speaker: Gregory Branch, Wm, MD, MBA, CPE, FACP, MACHO President, Baltimore County Health Officer

Date/Time: Wednesday, August 16, 2017; 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Police: Opioid Overdose Spike in Anne Arundel Due to Prescription Painkillers

With 2017 now at a record-setting pace for opioid overdose deaths in Anne Arundel County, police say a string of fatalities are due to medical emergencies now understood to be caused by prescription painkillers.

According to The Capital Gazette,

The county has now seen 85 deaths due to opioid overdoses as of Wednesday, 10 more than during the same period last year.

But while the vast majority are attributed to heroin and fentanyl, police say this uptick is largely because a number of deaths with previously unknown causes now being classified as due to prescription painkillers.

Police spokesman Marc Limansky said 12 of the 15 overdose deaths reported as new from last week are the result of four months’ worth of unknown fatalities being characterized as due to prescription opioids by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

He said several of the cases were originally reported to be overdoses on unknown prescriptions. He said some were situations where police had found a victim dead at the scene and the initial investigation could only determine that the person had overdosed, but not from what.

Health officials have warned doctors throughout the state about the risk of overprescribing the drugs as they say it can lead to their misuse or abuse.

“I think that if prescription opioids are available without people understanding or having (conversations) with their health care providers about their risks, that can lead to misuse,” said Sandy O’Neill, director of behavioral health services at the Anne Arundel County Department of Health.

Limansky and Annapolis police spokeswoman Cpl. Amy Miguez said police have responded to cases where people died after mixing or misunderstanding their dosage, especially if they are on other medications.

There is also still the worry that people who are prescribed opioids will develop a dependence on or tolerance to them, which many medical professionals say can lead users to turn to illicit street drugs like heroin when their prescription runs out.

County Executive Steve Schuh sent a letter to the region’s doctors and prescribers in May echoing these concerns.

“Most of our constituents with substance-use disorders began their path to addiction after forming dependencies to opioids prescribed as a result of an injury or other medical issue,” Schuh wrote in a joint letter with then-county Health Officer Jinlene Chan.

“Their opioid dependence may have led to obtaining illegal street opioids like heroin, sometimes laced with fentanyl, after valid prescriptions ran out.”

O’Neill said her department has seen many of the region’s prescribers begin to discuss alternative pain medication and treatment in the wake of the state’s opioid problem.

“It’s really important that people just have really candid conversations with their health care providers and ask those questions” about alternative treatment and risks, she said.

Read The Capital Gazette to learn more.

Learn how counties are utilizing a collaborative approach to address Maryland’s heroin and opioid epidemic at this year’s annual MACo Summer Conference, “You’re Hired!”. During the session, Attacking the Opioid Epidemic: A Collaborative Approach, state and local government officials will discuss how a collaborative approach inspires all stakeholders—across the boundaries of criminal justice, public health, and human services—to act as a single, integrated community and point the way toward powerful new solutions. More details about the session are available in the registration brochure.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Attacking the Opioid Epidemic: A Collaborative Approach at #MACoCon

Heroin and opioid abuse has evolved into a major public health crisis in Maryland. From the Baltimore-Washington metro area to the rural Eastern Shore and Western Maryland, the epidemic is having an extensive impact on large and small counties alike. In an effort to address the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse in Maryland, state and local officials are emphasizing the importance of a collaborative approach. In a session exploring this issue, panelists will discuss how a collaborative approach inspires all stakeholders—across the boundaries of criminal justice, public health, and human services—to act as a single, integrated community and point the way toward powerful new solutions.

Attacking the Opioid Epidemic: A Collaborative Approach

The heroin and opioid epidemic has evolved into a major public health crisis in Maryland. From the Baltimore-Washington metro area to the rural Eastern Shore and Western Maryland, the epidemic is having an extensive impact on large and small counties alike. The crisis touches a plethora of government programs, impacting children and families, public safety professionals, educators, and health care providers. In this session, panelists will discuss how a collaborative approach inspires all stakeholders—across the boundaries of criminal justice, public health, and human services—to act as a single, integrated community and point the way toward powerful new solutions.

Speakers:

  • Clay B. Stamp, Executive Director, Opioid Operational Command Center (OCCC)
  • Kevin Aftung, President, Emergency Managers Affiliate, Maryland Association of Counties
  • Nancy Schrum, Director, Constituent Services, Anne Arundel County
  • Jeff Amoros, Director, Legislative Affairs, Baltimore City Health Department

Moderator: The Honorable Erek L. Barron, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2017; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Virginia White to Lead MACo’s Member Services Efforts

Virginia White, part of MACo’s professional staff since 2010, will now lead MACo’s full range of education, service, and cost-saving functions as Member Services Director. In her leadership role, Virginia will help develop the Association’s branding, communications, events, and partnership programs to be of the highest value to our member counties. She will remain the lead coordinator of the conference events, and will have an active role with MACo’s many connections back to county government successes.

Prior to working with MACo, Virginia was the Director of Training & Special Events with the Maryland Association of Resources for Families & Youth (MARFY). Virginia graduated magna cum laude from Washington College in Kent County, Maryland, with a bachelor’s degree in art and computer science, and spent a semester studying at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. Virginia graduated summa cum laude from Maurice J. McDonough High School in Charles County.

BPW Approves Grants to Reduce Pollution, Improve Water Quality

The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved more than $92 million in grants to reduce pollution, improve water quality, and save energy and money. The board is composed of Gov. Larry Hogan, treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, and comptroller Peter Franchot.

According to The Garrett County Republican,

“These are smart investments to protect public health, prevent water pollution, and save money and energy in Maryland communities and the Chesapeake Bay. The Maryland Department of the Environment thanks Governor Hogan for his leadership as the new head of the six-state Chesapeake Bay Program and his support for local investments to protect a national treasure,” said Maryland secretary of the environment Ben Grumbles. “Providing nearly $100 million to upgrade key sewage treatment plants, septic systems, drinking water systems, and clean energy projects will help us to green and grow the state’s economy and lead in the race to protect and restore Chesapeake Bay watersheds.”

A $46,219,057 Bay Restoration Fund grant to Baltimore City will help fund the planning, design and construction of Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) and Enhanced Nutrient Removal (ENR) upgrades at the 180-million-gallons-per-day Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant. After the upgrades, the facility will reduce its nitrogen discharge by 83 percent, significantly reducing the amount of nutrients discharged to Back River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $15 million will provide statewide funding for counties to upgrade on-site sewage disposal (septic) systems to significantly reduce the discharge of nitrogen, one of the most serious pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay. Counties will focus on upgrading septic systems located within the critical area. All 23 Maryland counties will benefit from the grants, a spokesperson said.

Grants from the Bay Restoration Fund totaling $4,776,900 will provide funding for operation and maintenance costs for 41 wastewater treatment plants operating at enhanced nutrient removal levels in 20 counties. The Bay Restoration Fund provides for up to 10 percent of the annual revenue generated from wastewater treatment plant users and deposited with the Maryland Department of the Environment to be allocated for such costs. The grant for each plant is up to $30,000 per million gallons per day of design capacity, with a minimum award of $30,000 and a maximum award of $300,000 per year for any plant.

Enhanced Nutrient Removal upgrades allow facilities to significantly reduce the amount of nutrients discharged to local waterways and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Excessive amounts of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus lead to lowered levels of oxygen needed to support aquatic life in waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. The plants receiving these grants have reduced nitrogen discharges by more than 4,547,000 pounds per year and phosphorus discharges by more than 542,000 pounds per year. ENR upgrades of wastewater treatment plants are a critical component of Maryland’s Phase II Watershed Implementation Plan.

In Allegany County, a $2,135,875 Bay Restoration Fund grant to the city of Frostburg will help fund the next phase of the city’s efforts to separate its combined sewers and reduce the frequency and volume of combined sewer overflows during wet weather.

Read The Garrett County Republican to learn more.

Learn about how counties are addressing failing septic systems and reducing the amount of pollutants such as nitrogen that can flow into the Chesapeake Bay at this year’s annual MACo Summer Conference, “You’re Hired!” During the session, Flushing Your Troubles Down the Drain, the South Kent Island Solution, representatives from Queen Anne’s County will discuss how the county and the Maryland Departments of Planning and the Environment were able to solve this dangerous issue by connecting 1,518 existing homes and eight commercial properties to a safe and effective public sewer system.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Flushing Your Troubles Down the Drain at #MACoCon

Failing septic systems can cause hydraulic fractures and water contamination. In order to address this issue on southern Kent Island in Queen Anne’s County, sewer lines are being extended to replace aging septic systems. The $34 million project to connect 1,518 existing homes and eight commercial properties to Queen Anne’s County’s public sewer system. In a session exploring this issue, participants will learn how Queen Anne’s County and the Maryland Departments of Planning and the Environment were able to solve this dangerous issue by connecting properties to a safe and effective public sewer system.

Flushing Your Troubles Down the Drain, the South Kent Island Solution

When septic systems fail, they allow noxious odors and dangerous pathogens to rise to the surface. They can also endanger the Chesapeake Bay by allowing pollutants such as nitrogen to flow into its waters. For many years, community leaders on South Kent Island (SKI) in Queen Anne’s County had serious concerns about public health and the environment due to this very issue. Faced with an alarming septic system failure rate on SKI (70-90%), limited funding, Smart Growth requirements, and anti-growth concerns—among many other concerns and challenges—it was necessary to create a unique solution. Attend this session to find out how Queen Anne’s County and the Maryland Departments of Planning and the Environment were able to solve this dangerous issue to connect 1,518 existing homes and eight commercial properties to a safe and effective public sewer system.

Speakers:

  • The Honorable James J. Moran, County Commissioner At Large, Queen Anne’s County
  • Todd R. Mohn, Director, Department of Public Works, Queen Anne’s County
  • Julie Barown, P.E., Northeast Regional Municipal Systems, Orenco Systems, Inc.

Moderator: The Honorable Shane Robinson, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Friday, August 18, 2017; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Howard County Takes Steps Towards First Detox Center

Howard County is exploring opening a residential detoxification center. Officials have taken the initial steps of securing money in the budget and forming a team to find a location for the center.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

The county’s fiscal 2018 budget began on July 1, and with it came $250,000 to help fund a capital project to choose a location and begin the design process for the center, according to the approved Capital Budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

This is the first of several steps in the process to build the center; no time line for the center’s opening or budget for the facility itself have been set by the county, said Carl DeLorenzo, the administration’s director of policy and programs.

A team including officials from the county’s health department and the county executive’s office are working rapidly to find an appropriate location to serve the still-growing number of substance abusers in Howard County, said Carl DeLorenzo, the administration’s director of policy and programs. DeLorenzo is heading up the project alongside Howard County Health Officer Maura Rossman, with the goal of choosing a location for the center within the next year, DeLorenzo said.

“In Howard County we have not bent the curve on our opioid deaths and the number of folks overdosing,” Rossman said. “It is not going away.”

The gap in treatment grew even larger this year, after the county’s only outpatient clinic for those with substance abuse disorders who are Medicaid recipients or uninsured closed at the end of 2016.

Rossman said she wants to create a center that can offer the most intense form of treatment, inpatient detoxification, to residents. Detoxification is the process of transitioning from a state of intoxication to being “clean” and no longer presenting any symptoms related to a drug, said Andrew Angelino, chairman of the psychiatry department at Howard County General Hospital. The withdrawal process during detoxification from a drug is painful, and for opioid users, can include muscle cramps, diarrhea and other severe flu symptoms, Angelino said.

The center could also potentially provide services for the entire spectrum of treatment for substance abuse, including prevention and intervention, crisis stabilization, detoxification,recovery and treatment, but DeLorenzo said until the budget for the center itself is set, it’s difficult to know what will be available.

Read The Baltimore Sun to learn more.

MACo will be hosting a forum at our 2017 Summer Conference on the opioid crisis. The Opioid Forum: Combating the Crisis, will be moderated by  Clay Stamp, Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center (OCCC) and held on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 10:00 am – 11:15 am. More details about the session are available in the registration brochure.

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

No Vacancy: Revitalizing Vacant and Blighted Properties

Homes that have been abandoned can create a range of problems from blight to harmful nuisances for counties and their communities. But fear not! New and improved tools to reduce blight and revitalize communities will be discussed at the 2017 MACo Summer Conference.

NO VACANCY: Revitalizing Vacant and Blighted Properties

Description: Abandoned and vacant properties are often a source of blight, nuisance, and – in severe cases – danger for the communities surrounding them. Fortunately, new tools are on the horizon for county officials to get a handle on these problem properties. This session will begin with an overview of a 2016 summer study conducted by MACo, the Maryland Municipal League (MML), and the Community Development Network of Maryland outlining the specific challenges local governments face related to blighted, vacant, and abandoned properties. Attendees will learn about legislation recently passed by the General Assembly to help counties, as well as how to deploy those resources.

Speakers:

  • Odette Ramos, Executive Director, Community Development Network (CDN)
  • Cindy Smith, Grants Administrator, Dorchester County
  • Daniel S. Ehrenberg, Klein Hornig LLP
  • Meredith Mishaga, Director, Foreclosure Outreach, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR)

Moderator: The Honorable Marvin Holmes, Maryland House of Delegates

Date/Time: Thursday, August 17, 2017; 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The MACo summer conference is August 16-19, 2017 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City Maryland. This year’s theme is “You’re Hired!”.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: