It’s an unfortunate fact that drug abuse and addiction are on the rise, but we must be committed to providing effective resources and treatments to those in need. Congressman Sarbanes is collaborating with state and other local leaders to identify opportunities for federal assistance to Maryland. Congressman Sarbanes is also working together with other concerned Members of Congress to strengthen available federal resources and support.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please know that help is available. The Maryland Behavioral Health Administration can be reached at (410) 402-8600 or you can contact Congressman Sarbanes' Towson office at (410) 832-8890.
Congressman Sarbanes is also working to improve and strengthen federal resources:
- Introduced and Passed H.R. 3680, the Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of 2015: Bipartisan legislation that would expand access to life-saving medications to counter drug overdoses. This grant program would encourage co-prescribing naloxone, a drug that safely and effectively reverses opioid or heroin-induced overdoses, for individuals who are at an elevated risk of overdose. This bill was signed into law in July 2016.
- Introduced and Passed H.R. 3681/S.599, the Improving Access to Emergency Psychiatric Care Act of 2015: Bipartisan legislation that extends a demonstration project that will allow community psychiatric hospitals to get Medicaid matching payments for emergency inpatient treatment of individuals with severe mental illness and substance use disorders, including those who have experienced an overdose. This bill was signed into law in December 2015.
- Cosponsored H.R. 953, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015: Combatting opioid and heroin abuse requires a strong and multi-pronged strategy. This bill would provide additional resources for addiction prevention and education, law enforcement tools including naloxone (an antidote for heroin overdose), the expansion of treatment services and special programs for pregnant women and veterans. The bill also includes extra help for states to prepare broad and integrated opioid abuse response initiatives. This bill was signed into law in July 2016.
- Supported Key Programs to Combat Opioid Abuse: Several federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration steward important programs to combat opioid abuse and addiction. Congressman Sarbanes supported funding for these agencies’ various initiatives include heroin overdose surveillance and a naloxone grant program.
- Supported the Drug Free Communities Program: Congressman Sarbanes is a strong supporter of the Drug Free Communities program. This program provides resources for community coalitions that organize prevention, education and intervention strategies to reduce youth substance abuse. A local initiative is the Coalition for Safe Communities in Anne Arundel County.
- Supported Resources to Fight Crime in High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs): Baltimore and its surrounding counties belong to the Washington, D.C./Baltimore HIDTA. HIDTAs receive extra federal funding and support for law enforcement to fight drug trafficking and crime.
- Member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic: This Task Force is focused on creating and implementing solutions to end the heroin epidemic with a focus on expanding coordination among local and state officials, law enforcement agencies and medical professionals as well as increasing educational efforts.