Baltimore City Health Department receives grant to fight opioid epidemic

Posted at 3:55 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-10 17:51:17-04

In the midst of the increasing opioid epidemic, Monday the Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD) announced a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute - Baltimore (OSI). 

"Baltimore City is thankful for OSI's contribution that will support the health and well-being of our city," said Mayor Catherine Pugh in a statement. "We all have a role to play in protecting our community from the devastation and trauma caused by addiction and overdose."

The grant will be used to serve drug addicts and community engagement surrounding racial equity and drug policy, as well as funding rapid outreach for overdoses. According to recent statistics, Baltimore City suffered nearly 700 fatal overdoses in 2016. 

"As the opioid epidemic continues to plague our city, state and country, the resources have not kept pace with the need," said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. "We are extremely grateful that OSI, our long-time partner in the fight against the opioid epidemic, has provided vital funding during this time of a public health crisis."
On July 7, 2017, it was announced that Baltimore City would receive funding of $830,429 for the local Opioid Intervention Team, along with resources for naloxone. Since 2015, over 23,000 Baltimore citizens have been trained to use naloxone, which has saved more than 1,000 lives from opioid overdose. 

"It will take close partnership between state, local, federal, and private entities to overcome the opioid crisis that is devastating communities across Maryland" said Senator Chris Van Hollen. "Working together with all of our partners, we can save lives and resolve the crisis."