With recently received grant funding, Charles County will soon be better equipped in the fight against opiate addiction.
Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency announced last month in a press release that they had administered nearly $10 million in grants to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic during fiscal year 2020.
Charles County received a $178,000 grant to provide behavioral health services in the Charles County Detention Center, along with $112,960 to support its Opioid Intervention Team, a multi-agency partnership focused on local response to the statewide drug crisis.
The funds are part of a $50 million, five-year commitment from the state announced in 2017, the release says.
“Our administration continues to be committed to using every resource possible to ensure our local jurisdictions have access to life-saving resources such as programs aimed towards prevention, treatment, and recovery,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said in the release. “These grants are a powerful tool for our local communities in our fight against the opioid epidemic.”
“Combatting the ongoing opioid epidemic and saving the lives of Marylanders continues to be a top priority of this administration,” Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford (R) said in the release. “The programs and recipients of this funding represent the comprehensive, holistic approach we are taking to address this issue from all angles.”
“I am delighted that more than fifty critical programs all across the state of Maryland will be funded through more than $5.6 million in competitive grants, in addition to $4 million in block grants that will be distributed to each of the individual jurisdictions to determine how best to fight the opioid epidemic,” Steve Schuh, executive director of the Opioid Operational Command Center, said in the release. “As Governor Hogan observed from the beginning of this crisis, this battle will be won through the combined efforts of all of the local communities across the state. The OOCC supports all of these great programs.”
Jaime Barnes, acting director of substance use services at the Charles County Department of Health, said she expects the funds will help them be able to expand the services they offer for inmates at the detention center.
Currently, she said, they employ two part-time addiction counselors at the detention center who help provide group treatment. Additionally, she said, a peer support specialist also provides assistance to the inmates and group treatment on a part-time basis. The counselors are also required to meet individually for level two services. They also provide substance use assessments.
“We are hoping to increase services over the next year to include a pre-trial program, more group availability, increase peer support hours and offer reintegration services,” Barnes said.