Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Impact Policy That Impacts You!

Bills of Interest: 
(For Families of Children with a Substance Use Disorder)


Treatment at All Maryland Hospitals
House Bill 908
House Sponsor:  Delegate Morhaim
Hearing:  2/23 House Health & Government Operations Committee
·         Legislation that would require hospitals to establish a substance use treatment program to identify patients in need of treatment and admit the patient to the appropriate treatment setting or, if admission is not required, direct the patient to the appropriate outpatient treatment setting.  Friendly amendments support:
o   utilization of peer recovery specialists,
o   referrals to Community-Based Recovery Services,
o   family and consumer education opportunities,
o   expanded capacity for and access to detox and discharge planning.

Needle Exchange Programs
House Bill 468/Senate Bill 97
House Sponsor:  Delegate Lam
Hearing:  2/16 House Health and Government Operations
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Middleton
Hearing:  Not yet scheduled
·         Legislation that would allow health departments or community-based organizations to establish Opioid-Associated Disease Prevention and Outreach Programs where participants could exchange used hypodermic needles and syringes for sterile ones, thereby preventing the spread of bloodborne infectious diseases, like HIV and Hepatitis.

Safer Drug Use Facility Program
House Bill 1212
House Sponsor:  Delegate Morhaim
Hearing:  3/8 House Health & Government Operations Committee
·         Legislation that would establish Overdose and Infectious Disease Prevention Safer Drug Use Facility Programs that would allow participants access to safe injecting sites where services such as needle exchange, referral to treatment, linkages to community-based vocational and educational supports, and other services would be available.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP)
House Bill 437/Senate Bill 537 & House Bill 456/Senate Bill 382
House Sponsor (437):  Delegate Barron  /  House Sponsor (456):  Delegate Busch
Hearing:  2/18 House Health & Government Operations Committee
Senate Sponsor (537):  Senator Klausmeier  /  Senate Sponsor (382):  Senator Miller
Hearings:  2/24 Senate Finance Committee
·         Legislation that would strengthen Maryland’s PDMP by requiring treatment providers, doctors, and pharmacists to be registered with the program by 2017. 

Medicaid Compliance with Federal Parity Laws –Coverage for Residential Treatment
House Bill 1217/Senate Bill 899
House Sponsor:  Delegate Sample-Hughes
Hearing:  3/01 House Health and Government Operations Committee
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Klausmeier
Hearing:  3/02 Senate Finance Committee
·         Legislation that would ensure that the Maryland Medicaid program is in compliance with the federal mental health and addiction parity laws.  When Medicaid is in compliance, coverage will include some residential services

Justice Reinvestment Act –Assessment & Treatment for “Possession” Charges
House Bill 1312 / Senate Bill 1005
House Sponsor:  Delegate Busch
Hearing:  3/04 House Health and Government Operations Committee
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Miller
Hearing:  3/02 Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
·         Legislation that would require certain changes in current justice policy, including:
o   Allowing for reduced sentences for some drug-related crimes;
o   Evaluating a defendant for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) for drug dependence and providing an assessment to the court before imposing sentence;
o   Providing an assessment regarding drug treatment options to the court;
o   Requiring the court to incorporate this assessment into sentencing for possession of CDS;
o   Requiring DHMH to facilitate treatment “without unnecessary delay”;
o   Requiring DHMH to appear in court to explain a lack of placement for those defendants sentenced to participate in a treatment program instead of jail or prison.

School Report on Effectiveness of Behavioral Health Services
House Bill 713/Senate Bill 494
House Sponsor:  Delegate Luedtke
Hearing:  3/3 House Ways & Means Committee
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Nathan-Pulliam
Hearing:  2/24 Senate Education, Health, and Environment Committee
·         Legislation that would require the Department of Education, in consultation with other agencies and stakeholders, to develop and implement a standardized reporting system to determine the effectiveness of community-partnered school behavioral health services and programs.  This data is helpful in comparing school-based behavior health programs throughout the state, creating “model” programs, and enhancing and promoting school-based behavioral health services.   

Family Navigators Program
House Bill 1501
House Sponsor:  Delegate Stein
Hearing:  3/08 House Appropriations Committee
·         Legislation that would require the Governor’s Office of Children to sustain a Family Navigators program. Family Navigators would support, identify resources, and assist in obtaining services for families of children with mental or behavioral health needs or developmental disabilities.

Keep the Door Open Act
House Bill 595/Senate Bill 497
House Sponsor:  Delegate Hayes
Hearing:  2/16 House Health and Government Operations Committee
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Guzzone
Hearing:  2/25 Senate Budget & Taxation Committee, Senate Finance Committee
·         Legislation that would adjust the rate of Medicaid reimbursement for community mental health and substance use providers to medical inflation.

Crisis Services Strategic Plan
House Bill 682/Senate Bill 551
House Sponsor:  Delegate Rosenberg
Hearing:  2/23 House Health & Government Operations Committee
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Pugh
Hearing:  2/25 Senate Finance Committee
·         Legislation that would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop a strategic plan to ensure that 24/7 walk-in crisis capacity and mobile crisis services are available in every jurisdiction statewide.

Governor’s Budget Proposal
House Bill 150/Senate Bill 190
Hearing:  3/2 House Appropriations Committee
Hearing:  3/3 Senate Budget & Taxation Committee
  • Legislation that would:
o   Add a 2% rate increase for mental health & substance use disorder
o   Establish a Center of Excellence for Prevention and Treatment
o   Implement a Good Samaritan Law public awareness campaign
o   Increase assistance for pregnant women with SUD
o   Strengthen PDMP
o   Implement a Statewide Buprenorphine Access Expansion Plan
o   Expand Online Overdose Education & Public Policy Partners

Use or Possession of Small Amounts of Any CDS a Citation –not a Crime
House Bill 1119
House Sponsor:  Delegate Morhaim
Hearing:  3/1 House Judiciary Committee
·         Legislation that would make violations relating to the use or possession of small quantities of controlled dangerous substances a civil offense rather than a crime. 

Certification of Recovery Residences by Department of Health and Mental Hygiene House Bill 1429
House Sponsor:  Delegate Howard
Hearing:  3/11 House Health and Government Operations Committee
·         Legislation that would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop standards, requirements, fees, and procedures for the certification of recovery homes in the State, and prohibit a person from operating a recovery home without specified certification.  Stakeholders would be able to provide input and hold government accountable for investigating grievances. 

Certification of Recovery Residences by a Non-Profit Organization (MSARR)
House Bill 1411/Senate Bill 1094
House Sponsor:  Delegate McMillan
Hearing:  3/11 House Health and Government Operations Committee
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Astle
Hearing:  Not yet scheduled
·         Legislation that would require the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to approve a credentialing entity (MSARR) to develop and administer a certification process for recovery residences and to establish requirements and processes, and to conduct an inspection, and issue a certificate of compliance.  Stakeholders would not be able to provide input, nor have any input into the certification standards or process.  Would not have a grievance process. 

Methadone Treatment Facilities within 500 Feet of Schools
Senate Bill 569
Senate Sponsor:  Senator Gladden
Hearing:  3/16 Senate Finance Committee
·         Legislation that would require prohibiting a methadone treatment facility from being established or operated within 500 feet of schools, child care centers, or agencies unless DHMH receives a letter of support for the location of the facility from the schools, child care centers, and agencies.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

PRESS CONFERENCE ON FRIDAY AT 11:30 IN ANNAPOLIS!!!!!!

PRESS RELEASE  | 02/02/2016

Maryland Legislator to Introduce Groundbreaking Harm Reduction Drug Policy Bills to Reduce: Addiction, Deadly Overdose, Spread of Infectious Disease, and Incarceration Rates for Drug-Related Offenses

Proposed Bills Would Provide Treatment-at-Need in ER’s and Hospitals, Decriminalize Small Amounts of All Drugs, Set Up Safe Consumption Programs, and More
As deaths from drug overdoses increase nationwide, Maryland Delegate Dan Morhaim, M.D. - also a practicing physician who has been treating patients in emergency and internal medicine for more than 30 years - will introduce four bills to transform drug policy in the state.  This groundbreaking legislative package aims to reduce the harms associated with substance abuse disorders, including rates of addiction, deadly overdose, the spread of infectious disease, crime, costs to the general public, and incarceration rates.  (See detailed descriptions of all 4 bills below.) 
More Americans now die annually from overdose than gunshot wounds or car crashes. Nearly 47,000 Americans died from a drug overdose in 2014.In Maryland, the Governor’s office has defined the problem as an “epidemic…destroying lives”. There has been a 60% rise in fatal drug and alcohol-related overdoses, and heroin deaths have increased by 186%, from 2010 to 2015 in the state.
WHAT:            Press Conference with Delegate Morhaim, Law Enforcement Officials, Health Experts and More
WHEN:            Friday, February 5, 2016, 12:00 p.m           
WHERE:         House Office Building, Room 180, 6 Bladen Street, Annapolis, MD, 21401  (Please arrive by 11:30 a.m. to allow   plenty of time for parking, walking to the House of Delegates, and getting through security.  Click here for more information on parking.)
WHO:       
Delegate Dan Morhaim has been a member of the Maryland House of Delegates since 1994, where he serves as Deputy Majority Leader. He is a board-certified physician with over 30 years front-line clinical experience treating patients in emergency and internal medicine, and he is on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and at the University of Maryland Medical School. He is the author of numerous articles, both medical and non-medical.
Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1994 before being elected to the Maryland Senate in 2014.  She is a Registered Nurse with years of experience as a quality assurance coordinator, head nurse, and team leader at hospitals in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.) is the Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, an international nonprofit organization of law enforcement professionals and civilian supporters who want to end the War on Drugs. Major Franklin is a retired 33-year veteran of both the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police forces. 
Beth McGinty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management and Co-Deputy Director for the Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Professor McGinty’s research focuses on social policies that affect mental health and substance use. 
Christopher Welsh is a physician at the University of Maryland, specializing in addiction treatment and behavioral health. He is the Medical Director of the UMMC Substance Abuse Consultation Service, which is responsible for substance abuse assessment and intervention throughout the University of Maryland Medical Center.
“This crisis has been going for decades, but the marked rise in overdose deaths and the murder rate is finally forcing us to take definitive action. Maryland has the opportunity to serve as a model for the country in treating drug use for what it is—a public health issue,” says Delegate Morhaim.  “This legislation reflects the scientific, evidence-based research proving how to best help drug users, their families, and the community at large.”
"From moms to Presidential candidates, everyone is searching for solutions to the growing rates of drug addiction and overdose,” said Lindsay LaSalle, Staff Attorney for Drug Policy Alliance.  “Fortunately there are programs that are well-established and have been proven to work around the world.  Maryland now has the opportunity to be the first state to bring these common sense policies to the United States.” 
Below is an overview of the four drug policy bills that will be introduced:
Addiction Treatment at need and on Demand in ERs and Hospitals –In Maryland, drug related deaths are on the rise. Associated harms, including drug-related crime and violence, the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, and the impact on health care insurance premiums and taxpayers are concerns for the state. Conservative estimates show that for every $1 spent on treatment approximately $12 is saved in criminal justice and health care costs.  For a wide variety of reasons, hospitals are an excellent location to initiate treatment. This bill requires acute care hospitals to have an addiction treatment counselor available or on-call 24/7 to patients in emergency rooms and in-hospital and to have defined arrangements for transfer to appropriate detoxification and rehabilitation care services. The bill also calls for the State’s hospital regulatory agency (HSCRC) to develop cost-effective strategies to support hospital capital and operating expenses.
Safe Consumption Programs – This bill permits the establishment of safe consumption programs which allow individuals to consume controlled substances in a safe space, provide sterile equipment, and connect patients to treatment, medical care, and other social services. Similar facilities now operate in Europe, Australia, and Canada with excellent results, including reducing the spread of infectious diseases, and because medical staff is immediately available, overdose deaths have been eliminated.  This bill allows local health departments to singularly establish such programs.  Community-based organizations may also establish such programs after obtaining approval from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene when specific criteria are met. 
Poly-Morphone-Assisted Treatment - This bill tasks the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene with creating an advisory committee to review research proposals and support the establishment of a 4-year poly-morphone-assisted treatment pilot project in Maryland.  Poly-morphone-assisted treatment refers to the administering or dispensing of pharmaceutical–grade heroin, hydromorphone, or other opioids to a small and previously consistently unresponsive group of chronic heroin users under medical supervision in a specialized clinic.  This group of users is directly responsible for a significant portion of street crime and uncompensated health care costs that are eventually born by taxpayers. Bringing them into treatment immediately reduces their anti-social behavior and provides an opportunity for further care. Programs in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, as well as clinical trials in Canada and elsewhere, have achieved unanimously positive results.
(For both the Safe Consumption and Poly-Morphone Programs, the University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry has stated its support and said “If the legislation is passed, the Department would seriously consider establishing pilot programs to evaluate these interventions.”)
Decriminalization of Small Amounts of Drugs for Personal Use- Rather than reducing drug use, criminalizing substance abusers amplifies the risk of fatal overdoses and diseases, increases stigma, and drives people away from needed treatment and harm reduction services.  This bill would keep some drug users - those possessing minimal amounts - out of the criminal justice system, thereby saving critical resources and avoiding the costs of saddling more Maryland citizens with criminal records and their adverse consequences. In 2001 Portugal became the first nation to eliminate criminal penalties for low-level possession and use of all illicit drugs. The Cato Institute studied the results of Portugal’s policy and stated “none of nightmare scenarios…from rampant increases in drug usage among the young to the transformation of Lisbon into a haven for drug tourists has occurred.” Furthermore, “decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates”, and the level of drug trafficking has also declined. And the incidence of other drug-related problems, including sexually transmitted diseases and deaths from drug overdoses, has “decreased dramatically”.
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CONTACT:  

Tony Newman, 646-335-5384
Delegate Dan Morhaim, 410-841-3054 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hospitals Must Report Overdoses to Police??? PLEASE TESTIFY 2/2

Maryland General Assembly, 2016
Week of February 8th – 12th

HB15: Suspected Overdoses –Reporting Requirement. –Hearing in Health & Government Operations Committee on 2/2 at 1:00 –House Office Building, Annapolis. 
Sponsor:  Delegate Kathy Szeliga
Summary:  Requiring specified individuals who treat or are in charge of a hospital that treats an individual in Harford County for a suspected overdose that was caused or shows evidence of having been caused by a Schedule I controlled dangerous substance to notify the county sheriff, county police, or the Department of State Police of the suspected overdose within 48 hours after the individual is treated; requiring that a report of a suspected overdose include specified information; and establishing a specified penalty. –National Council on Alcohol & Drug Dependence
Please Testify:  Advocates are seeking people to testify in opposition of this bill –particularly anyone having personal experience with negative police interactions following an overdose.  Call Linda Williams, Addictions Connections Resources (ACR) at 443-417-6405.


HB 24: Overdose Response Program –Educational Training Requirement. –Hearing in Health & Government Operations Committee on 2/2 at 1:00 –House Office Building, Annapolis. 
Sponsor:  Delegate Kathy Szeliga
Summary:  Requiring educational training for an Overdose Response Program overseen by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to include training in the requirement to immediately contact medical services after the administration of naloxone by a certificate holder instead of training in the importance of contacting emergency medical services.  –National Council on Alcohol & Drug Dependence
Please Testify:  Advocates are seeking people to testify in opposition of this bill –particularly anyone having personal experience with negative police interactions after calling Emergency Medical Services following an overdose.  Call Linda Williams, Addictions Connections Resources (ACR) at 443-417-6405.


SB 315: Homicide, Kidnapping, and Drug Offenses. –Hearing in Health & Government Operations Committee on 2/2 at 1:00 –House Office Building, Annapolis. 
Sponsors:  Senators Hough, Brochin, Cassilly, Norman, and Ready
Summary:  This bill would increase criminal penalties for being involved in the overdose death of another due to heroin mixed with fentanyl. The bill also increases the maximum penalty for 2nd degree murder from 30 to 40 years.  NCADD is opposing.