Heroin is devastating families across the nation with more than 500,000 people using the drug. In 2019, more than 12,000 deaths were related to heroin overdoses. State and federal governments have been working hard to battle the epidemic. Drug rehab centers in Maryland are pleased to be getting help from new legislation.
Drug Trafficking Penalties May Reduce Strain on Drug Rehab Centers in Maryland
The governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, proposes to amend the state’s Gang Statute to aid in the prosecution of drug traffickers. The changes will charge civil penalties to those selling drugs in a criminal enterprise. These changes are modelled after the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) passed in 1970.
By making these changes, drug traffickers face more severe penalties and may be prosecuted quicker, taking dealers off the streets and reducing the availability of heroin to the public. This may reduce the strain on drug rehab centers in Maryland.
Prescription Drug Monitoring May Help Reduce Opioid Abuse and Detect Potential for Heroin Abuse
Maryland passed the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Statute in 2016 to help watch controlled substances in the state. This program alerts healthcare providers of potential opioid abuse or dangerous drug interactions. With this program implemented, it is hoped that abusive behavior can be detected and treated, lowering the incidence of opioid abuse.
As the program gains momentum, people showing signs of potential abuse patterns can be educated and treated. This early intervention may increase outpatient treatment for addiction. Over time, it should help decrease the number of beds needed for inpatient treatment at drug rehab centers in Maryland.
Governor Hogan Believes in these Changes to Legislation
Governor Hogan has been working hard to end the epidemic and relieve the strain on drug rehab centers in Maryland.
“Our administration is committed to doing everything in our power to bring all the various stakeholders together to find the best ideas, and to work toward solutions to the heroin and opioid crisis that has overtaken our state,” said Governor Hogan. “These two bills will give medical professionals and law enforcement the tools they need to attack this crisis from every direction, with everything we’ve got. This problem is real, and it demands our full and immediate attention.”
Good Samaritan Act Helps Ensure Immediate Attention
Immediate attention is critical when someone has overdosed, minutes of delay can cause death. By implementing the Good Samaritan Act in Maryland, people can help an overdose victim without fear of being prosecuted.
This coupled with the 2014 Overdose Response Program (ORP) is saving lives. The OPR allows those associated with known opioid abusers to become certified to administer the drug Naloxone when an overdose occurs. While not a recovery solution, it saves lives, so that person has a chance of recovery.
Ready For Your Chance at Recovery?
Drug rehab centers in Maryland are fighting against the heroin epidemic to save lives. While current legislation in Maryland will help, these changes take time to carry out. If you or a loved one is battling opioid or heroin addiction don’t wait to get help. Take your first courageous step towards sobriety today.