Saturday, March 25, 2017

F.A.C.E. Addiction Maryland
March Meeting
(Family Advocates Coalition to End Addiction)

Date/Time:  March 27th 2017 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location:    Anne Arundel County Conference Room (Room 153) / House of Delegates / Bladen Street / Annapolis
For More Info:  301-525-6183 /


What Should The Maryland Certification for Family Peer Support Specialists Look Like?

The Maryland Addiction and Behavioral-health Professionals Certification Board (MABPCB) offers voluntary international and state level credentials to the behavioral health worker. The Board, comprised of certified and licensed professionals and peer recovery specialists throughout the state, implements standards, testing and training for certifying addiction counselors, co-occurring disorders professionals, criminal justice addictions professionals, clinical supervisors, and peer recovery specialists and their supervisors.

Maryland already has a credential for Peer Recovery Specialist –an individual in recovery from substance use disorder –who has received “training” to support peers with their recovery.  Similarly, a peer credential for family members is being developed.  A workgroup has been tasked with developing core competencies for this credential –in other words, what does a family member of an individual with a substance use disorder need to know in order to help or assist other families.  This is what we already do. 

We are the ones who have been doing the work –so we are the ones who must provide the guidance on identifying the requirements for the certification.  Please bring your ideas and insights to the table.  We are relying on your input. 

There is a saying in the peer support world:  “NOT ABOUT US –WITHOUT US!”  In other words, policy that impacts us should not be created without our input. 

Announcements / New Business

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Here is an updated bill list for Maryland.  I have highlighted bill status in red for bills that need your immediate attention --please call the committee members in either the House Health & Government Operations Committee or the Senate Finance Committee (lists below) and urge them to pass these life-saving measures.  Also send a brief email telling them why it is important for them to pass this bill.  Then a couple days later, follow up with a call to ask if they have voted on the bill, yet. 

I have also highlighted in red those bills that have passed in either the House or the Senate, as well as any bills that still have a hearing date.  Unless a hearing date is specified, all of the bills below have been heard in Committee.  That does not mean they will make it to the floor of the General Assembly for a full vote of all members --it does not even mean that the Committee will vote on it to move it forward (there are just too many bills for them to take notice of every one).  So if ANY of these bills are important to you PLEASE call the members of that Committee (attached) and ask them to VOTE FAVORABLY in support of your bill. 

I have highlighted a few important bills in red that have "stalled" in Committee --those that have been heard but not yet assigned to a subcommittee for discussion.  Those bills may be ignored if the Committee feels that constituents are not interested.  Please weigh in on changes that make a difference for your family and friends.  YOUR VOICE MATTERS!

TOP Bills of Interest 
For Families Coping With Substance Use Disorder
(for additional information --see attachment)

House Bill 1329 / Senate Bill 967  Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017:  Legislation that mandates Recovery Schools, 24/7 Referral, Expanded Suboxone, Treatment in Jails/Prisons, and more...

House Bill 1082 / Senate Bill 1060  Heroin / Opioid Education and Community Action Act of 2017 (Start Talking Maryland):  Legislation that mandates Expanded Drug Courts, K-12 Curriculum,  Naloxone in Schools and Parent Notification, College Prevention Program...

House Bill 1432  Limits on Opioid Prescribing (The Prescriber Limits Act of 2017): 
Legislation that limits the amount of opiate medication that a health care provider can prescribe to a 7-day supply...

House Bill 988  Licensed Pharmacists Must Notify Patients about Risks of Opioid Addiction:  Legislation that requires a pharmacist to warn patients about risks of opioid addiction...

House Bill 515  Treatment at All Maryland Hospitals:  STATUS:  House Health & Government Operations Committee:  STALLED –CALL / EMAIL –ASK FOR A FAVORABLE VOTE!  Legislation that would require hospitals to admit or refer patients needing opiate detox 24 hours a day / 7 days a week...
House Bill 1372  Ibogaine Treatment Pilot Program:  Legislation that establishes a four-year pilot program to study Ibogaine treatment for chronic opioid users.

Senate Bill 433  Involuntary Commitment of a Minor to Inpatient / Outpatient Treatment:  STATUS:  Senate Finance Committee:  PASSED / Hearing in House Health & Govt Operations Committee:  TBA  Legislation authorizing a parent of a minor child to involuntarily commit them in a treatment program...

House Bill 1009  Involuntary Admissions and Petitions for Emergency Evaluation –Modified to Include an Adult Overdose Survivor:  Legislation authorizing a individual to involuntarily commit an adult overdose survivor in a treatment program if they are on parent's insurance plan...

House Bill 590  Establishing Addiction Recovery Programs in the University System of Maryland:  STATUS:  House Appropriations Committee:  PASSED / Hearing in Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee:  TBA  Legislation that establishes Recovery Programs for college students...

House Bill 1276  Patient-Centered Opioid Addiction Treatment Act:  Legislation that would require “Opioid Treatment Programs” (new term for methadone providers) to provide patient education on ALL treatment options --including abstinence, Vivitrol, etc. and to discuss benefits and risks.

House Bill 1278  Health Care Facilities / Systems Must Have Availability of Buprenorphine Prescribers:  Legislation that expands availability of buprenorphine... 

Senate Bill 476 / House Bill 580  Behavioral Health Community Providers –Keep the Door Open Act w/ F.A.C.E. Addiction Amendment:  Legislation that would adjust the rate of Medicaid reimbursement for treatment providers to annual inflation rates.  Our amendment would tie performance measures and treatment outcomes to reimbursement rates –to improve SUD treatment quality:  REWARD RESULTS!

Senate Bill 553 / House Bill 869  Recovery Residence Residential Rights Protection Act:  Legislation that would require detox providers to refer patients to all necessary services prior to their discharge....

House Bill 785  Prohibition against Denying State Funds to Abstinence-Based Recovery Residences:  STATUS:  House Health & Government Operations Committee:  STALLED –CALL / EMAIL –ASK FOR A FAVORABLE VOTE  Legislation that prohibits the State from denying RecoveryNet funding to an abstinence-based recovery residence...

House Bill 1010  Mandatory Urine Testing at Certified Recovery Residences:  Legislation that requires employees and residents in recovery housing to submit to urine testing....

House Bill 856 / Senate Bill 693  Co-Prescribing Naloxone Saves Lives Act of 2017:  STATUS:  Senate Finance Committee:  STALLED –CALL / EMAIL –ASK FOR A FAVORABLE VOTE  Legislation that requires Naloxone to be prescribed to certain high risk patients...

Senate Bill 1129  Licensing of Outpatient Programs and Provision of Naloxone Kits (in hospitals, health departments, jails and prisons):  Legislation that mandates hospitals, health departments, jails and prisons to provide a Naloxone kit to overdose survivors, patients diagnosed with an opioid use disorder, and inmates with a history of an opioid use disorder before release. 

House Bill 791 / Senate Bill 868  Prescribing and Dispensing of Naloxone –Removing the DHMH Training Requirement:  Legislation that would remove the current DHMH requirement that individuals be required to complete a training in order to receive a Naloxone kit.

Senate Bill 415 / House Bill 631  Price Gouging Prohibition for Essential Generic Drugs (Including Naloxone):  Legislation that prevents companies from charging inflated prices for life-saving drugs.

House Bill 519  Safer Drug Use Facility Program:  STATUS:  House Health & Government Operations Committee:  STALLED –CALL / EMAIL –ASK FOR A FAVORABLE VOTE!  Legislation establishing Safer Drug Consumption Facility Programs that in communities with substantial indigent chronic user populations --based on The Portugal Model.

House Bill 488 / Senate Bill 798  Use or Possession of Small Amounts of Any CDS a Citation –not a Crime --THIS BILL IS DEAD  STATUS:  House Judiciary Committee:  Unfavorable Vote   Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee:  Unfavorable Vote  Legislation that would divert violators to treatment rather than jail for possession of small quantities of controlled dangerous substances...

House Bill 687 / Senate Bill 539  30 Year Jail Sentence for Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death –w/ F.A.C.E. Addiction Amendment:  Legislation making it a felony to distribute an opioid which leads to overdose death, and imposes up to a 30 year jail sentence.  Our amendment requested that the bill NOT BE PASSED without adding language that specifically includes “medical professionals found guilty of prescribing for profit” among those who could be given 30-year jail sentences.

House Bill 612  30 Year Jail Sentence for Distribution of Heroin or Fentanyl Resulting in Death: Legislation which makes it a felony to distribute heroin or fentanyl which is a contributing cause of death and imposes up to a 30 year jail sentence. 

House Bill 661  Overdoses Must Be Reported to County Sheriff by Medical Professionals:  Legislation that requires medical personnel who treat an overdose at a hospital to report the overdose to the County Sheriff within 48 hours. 

House: Health and Government Operations Committee

Pendergrass, Shane E. (Chair)      Howard                              410-841-3139
Bromwell, Eric M. (Vice Chair)     Baltimore                                          -3766
Angel, Angela                                  Prince George’s                               -3707
Barron, Erek L.                                Prince George’s                                -3692
Cullison, Bonnie                              Montgomery                                    -3883
Hayes, Antonio L.                            Baltimore City                                  -3545
Hill, Terri L.                                       Baltimore & Howard             -3378
Kelly, Ariana B.                                Montgomery                                    -3642
Kipke, Nicholaus R.                         Anne Arundel                                   -3421
Krebs, Susan W.                              Carroll                                                -3200
McDonough, Pat                             Baltimore & Harford              -3334    
Metzgar, Ric                                     Baltimore                                          -3332
Miele, Christian                               Baltimore                                          -3365
Morales, Marice                              Montgomery                                    -3528
Morgan, Matthew                           St. Mary’s                                         -3170
Oaks, Nathaniel T.                           Baltimore City                                  -3283
Pena-Melnyk, Joseline A.               PG & Anne Arundel               -3502
Platt, Andrew                                   Montgomery                                   -3037    
Rosenberg, Samuel I.                      Baltimore City                                 -3297
Saab, Sid                                            Anne Arundel                                  -3551
Sample-Hughes, Sheree                 Dorchester & Wicomico       -3427
Szeliga, Kathy                                   Baltimore & Harford             -3698
West, Chris                                       Baltimore                                         -3793
Young, Karen Lewis                         Frederick                                          -3436

Senate: Finance

Senator                                                       Extension

Middleton, Thomas M. (Chair)                  410-841-3616

Astle, John C. (Vice Chair)                                    -3578

Benson, Joanne C.                                                -3148
Feldman, Brian J.                                                   -3169

Hershey, Stephen S., Jr.                                        -3639
Jennings, J. B.                                                        -3706
Klausmeier, Katherine                                            -3620
Mathias, James N., Jr.                                            -3645
Oaks, Nathaniel T.                                                  -3697
Reilly, Edward R.                                                    -3568
Rosapepe, Jim                                                        -3141

Monday, March 6, 2017

HEARINGS 3/7 - 3/8: Recovery Schools, K-12 Curriculum, 24/7 Referral, Expanded Suboxone, Treatment in Jails/Prisons


HB 1329/SB 967Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017
House Health & Govt Ops Committee / Senate Finance Committee  --Call and email these committee members and ask them to support:
  1. Colleges to offer credits in education for substance use disorders, effective treatment, and pain management; 
  2. Establish crisis treatment centers that perform assessments 24 / 7 and connect individuals to care immediately;
  3. Create a Health Crisis Hotline to provide legitimate resources for callers regarding treatment options and support services;
  4. Ensure that buprenorphrine is available at all "health care facilities" --hospitals, community health centers, behavioral health treatment providers, and local health departments;
  5. Ensure that hospitals refer patients to next level of care and provide Naloxone to surviving overdose patients;
  6. Requiring all insurance providers to cover all levels of treatment, including residential;
  7. Requires the MD Dept of Education, in consultation with stakeholders, to develop a plan to establish regional recovery schools throughout Maryland by 12/1/2017;
  8. Requires SUD treatment, incl. medicated-assisted treatment in prisons and jails
HB 1082/SB1060Heroin and Opioid Education and Community Action Act of 2017 (Start Talking Maryland Act)
House Health & Govt Ops Committee / Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee  --Call and email these committee members and ask them to support:
  1. Expand the use of Drug Courts;
  2. Board of Education shall develop and implement a program of drug addiction and prevention education in public schools, begi9nning in elementary school;
  3. Establishment of school policy for school nurses to administer Naloxone, and a requirement that parents are notified at the beginning of the school year about Naloxone policy, and a requirement that the school develop on-going dissemination of information re Naloxone --social media, PSA's;
  4. Requires colleges to establish opioid addiction awareness and prevention training;

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Please Show Your Support This Week

A Consumer-Driven Legislative Agenda for Maryland Families Impacted by Substance Use Disorder

F.A.C.E. Addiction Maryland Meeting on Monday, 2/27:
(Family Advocates Coalition to End Addiction in Maryland)
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location:    Anne Arundel County Conference Room (Room 153) / House of Delegates / Bladen Street / Annapolis

Bill Hearings on Tuesday, 2/28:
1)  HB 515:  Treatment at All Maryland Hospitals
2)  HB 869:  Recovery Residence Rights Protection Act
3)  HB 550:  Keep the Door Open Act w/ Amendment
4)  HB 785:  Prohibition Against Denying State Funds to Recovery Residences

Bill Hearings on Wednesday, 3/1:
1)  SB 693:  Co-Prescribing Naloxone Saves Lives Act

Bill Hearings on Thursday, 3/2:
1)  SB 798:  Possession of Small Amounts of CDS Not a Crime --Referral to Treatment
2)  SB 267:  Adding 'Opiate Use Disorder' to Conditions that can be Treated with Medical Cannabis

Bill Hearings on Friday, 3/3:
1)  HB 487:  Adding 'Opiate Use Disorder' to Conditions that can be Treated with Medical Cannabis

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


What if this was your diagnosis: “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry”, “characterized by distortions in thinking, feelings and perceptions, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.” “Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, [your disorder] is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.” --Definition of Substance Use Disorder

And these were the symptoms of your disorder: inability to manage emotions (anxiety, guilt, depression) • psychiatric symptoms • history of criminality • limited educational achievement • poor vocational skills • inadequate anger management skills • the sequelae of physical, sexual or emotional trauma • demonstrates distractibility, negative emotions, or anxiety to such a degree that destabilization is likely outside of a highly structured environment • lacks motivation to seek appropriate interventions • requires active interventions with family • lacks awareness of anxiety or depression triggers • difficulty postponing immediate gratification • requires case management to coordinate medications • continued exposure to school, work or living environment MAKES RECOVERY UNLIKELY • insufficient resources and skills to maintain an adequate level of functioning outside of a 24 hour supportive environment • needs support while transitioning to life in the community. –ASAM criteria for needing a 3.1 level of care

BUT this was the care that you received to assist in your “recovery”: 
  • No psychological or family counseling even when it is assessed as necessary to your recovery.
  • No source of food, other than a single package of Ramen noodles per day. Your food stamp card is taken by the Program Director, where it is cashed in for .50 on the dollar at local markets, while you are provided with a couple canned food items from the local food bank to eat. Lack of nutrition or malnutrition, Personal belongings, medication, and food are consistently stolen –either by housemates or program staff.
  • Getting a job, attending classes, or receiving job training gets you kicked out of your program when your "Program" can no longer bill your Medicaid for IOP/PHP, causing you to become immediately homeless with a complete and total disruption of ALL TREATMENT SERVICES –including Suboxone or psych meds.
  • If you were released from a higher level of care maintained on Suboxone and you run out, you are forced to endure the withdrawals, or buy it illicitly on the nearest street corner (your Program Director can tell you which one).
  • It is dangerous to walk alone in the neighborhood where your program is located due to the threat of robbery or physical assault. 
  • You experience heightened and uncomfortable cravings as you are constantly offered drugs in the open air drug markets that surround your “treatment” program.  In fact, it is not uncommon for your Program staff to be selling drugs, and pressuring you to sell your prescription drugs for illicit distribution. Your “House Manager” may have less “clean time” than you do.
  • If you are short on your rent, and your eviction seems imminent, your Program Director may offer to trade sexual favors in lieu of cash. 
  • The Program Director, as well as “staff”, need not have any knowledge about your disorder, your psychological needs, your developmental needs, nor do they need any training in treatment protocols (their background may be in real estate investment).
  • If you complain about your program verbally, write a letter of complaint to a local or state official, or file a grievance of any kind, you may be kicked out of “treatment” and become immediately homeless –and/or experience or be threatened with physical assault.
  • There is no statewide agency or organization that provides oversight for your continued care.
Every Marylander’s tax dollars are used to pay for the above Continuum of Care model!

Our children are NOT dying from overdoses –Our children are dying from a serious and severe lack of appropriate healthcare –A treatment system without standards, performance measures, or oversight!


OUR KIDS NEED YOUR SUPPORT ON THURSDAY!  If  you are able to speak with your legislators in Annapolis regarding this bill on Thursday, 2/23, OR Tuesday, 2/28, please email or call 301-525-6183.  Please email and/or call the legislators in the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to support SB 553, and in the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to support HB 869. 

Committee members contact info can be found on this site:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Recovery Residence Residential Rights Protection Act

Individuals with a chronic, potentially life-threatening disorder, who have been assessed as needing a specified regimen of services to address their disorder as determined by criteria developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and accepted nationwide, are being referred by providers into lower levels of care that do not offer these services –thereby jeopardizing the lives of their patients. Patients who are assessed as needing on-going mental health services, psychiatric services, Suboxone maintenance, family counseling, vocational / educational counseling, legal services, family stabilization services, etc. are being referred into recovery residence programs that do not provide these services. Consumers and their families assume that they are being referred to programs that match the patient’s needs. This is very far from the truth.

If Recovery Residences are accepting patients directly from hospitals and detox programs, with a diagnosed often co-occurring disorder that is potentially fatal when left untreated, than they must be held accountable for providing the services that are necessary for the wellbeing of those within their programs.

It is high time that Maryland establish a certification system for recovery residences to provide a consistent continuum of care for patients, and that we require behavioral health units discharging a patient to provide a list of certified and non-certified residences to patients to provide this continuing care.

If you are able to speak with your legislators in Annapolis regarding this bill on Thursday, 2/23, please email or call 301-525-6183.  Please email and/or call  legislators in the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to support SB 553, and in the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to support HB 869. 

You can find Committee members at:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Can You Believe That Anyone Would OPPOSE Expanding Opioid Addiction Treatment?


On Tuesday, February 21st, the House Health & Government Operations Committee will hear from constituents about why they should 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.  Hospitals would be required to provide TREATMENT ON DEMAND 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.

The Maryland Hospital Association is opposing this legislation because it would cost the hospitals “too much money” to save the lives of our children. 

I had to ask myself, “Who ARE these callous people?”  Who would deny life-saving healthcare services to our children because of money –when it is not too expensive to treat many more costly conditions, such as cardiac arrest, diabetic shock, or suicide?

I thought, “Perhaps these hospitals REALLY DON’T have enough money to save the life of our children by providing TREATMENT ON DEMAND for chronic intravenous opioid users.” 

According to the Health Services Cost Review Commission, here is a short list of the top paid hospital employees in 2014 –at hospitals that deny our children life-saving healthcare services: 

·         Robert Chrencik, University of Maryland Medical System: $6.90 million

·         Kenneth Samet, MedStar Health: $4.39 million

·         Ronald Peterson, Johns Hopkins Health System: $2.61 million

·         Michael Curran, MedStar – Southern Maryland Hospital: $2.59 million

·         M. Joy Drass, MedStar – Southern Maryland Hospital: $1.91 million

There are 149 hospital employees, who earn more than half a million dollars each year, at hospitals that have made the decision that it is “too costly” to provide life-saving healthcare services –such as opiate detox and referral to next level of care.  Of these 149 hospital employees:

·         113 individuals made between $500,000 and $1 million

·         24 individuals made between $1 million and $1.5 million

·         8 individuals made between $1.5 million and $2 million

·         4 individuals made more than $2 million

The combined salary of these 149 hospital employees is $136,412,654.

If we needed only $1 million to fund the statewide hospital substance abuse treatment bill –that would total less than 1% of this combined salary. 


·       Show Your Support in Annapolis on 2/27.  Meet with other advocates in the morning to talk to legislators about the bill.  Ask the House Health & Government Operations Committee to vote favorably on HB 515 at 1:00.  R.S.V.P. to or call 301-525-6183 if you are able to meet us in Annapolis.

·        Call ALL members of the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to vote favorably on HB 515.

·    Email ALL members of the House Health & Government Operations Committee and ask them to vote favorably on HB 515.

Here is the link to the House Government Operations Committee:

Monday, February 13, 2017



HB 0488: Use or Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance - De Minimis Quantity

Mass incarceration of non-violent drug users in Maryland wastes resources, ruins lives, and does nothing to reduce drug use. More than 40,000 arrests for non-violent drug crimes took place in Maryland in 2014, and 81% of drug arrests were for possession only. Maryland has approximately 4,000 prisoners incarcerated for drug crimes at any point in time, costing the corrections system $260 million. Collateral consequences of drug convictions include loss of child custody, voting rights, employment, business loans, licensing, student aid, public housing, and other public assistance, not to mention the self-defeat and stigma that can last a lifetime.

In 2016, we passed the Justice Reinvestment Act (JRA) to reduce Maryland’s prison population and reduce the likelihood of reoffending. This legislation is an extension of the JRA in that it changes a criminal offense into a graduated civil offense. The JRA works with people after arrest, prosecution, and incarceration; this bill will divert people into treatment before entry into the criminal justice system. 

This bill does not change penalties for possession, distribution, or sale of larger amounts. The first time a person is caught with a very small personal amount of drugs, he/she will no longer be arrested, jailed, prosecuted, imprisoned, or saddled with a criminal record, but instead will be referred to treatment.  A graduated civil offense applies to an individual who is caught twice with possession of drugs, and a person is moved to the criminal justice system on their third offense.

Empirical evidence demonstrates that decriminalization DOES NOT result in increased use or crime.  IT DOES reduce incidences of HIV/AIDS and overdose; increases the number of people in treatment; and reduces social costs of drug use.

1) Testify in Annapolis on 2/14 at 1:00  (In 3 minutes, give reasons why this bill should become law)
Email: or Call to sign up to testify: 301-525-6183

2)  Call and/or email elected officials on the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and ask them to vote favorably on House Bill 488 and Senate Bill 798.  To identify Committee members, click on the link below or paste it into your URL, locate the committee and click on it, and then click on the "membership" drop down tab.  Then click on "contact".

Friday, February 10, 2017

CALL TO ACTION: Stop DHMH from escalating misinformation campaign to families in crisis!


A Maryland Public Television Documentary --Breaking Heroin's Grip:  Road to Recovery, airing on 2/11, will promote a number to call
"staffed by crisis hotline staff who will provide callers with information on treatment." 
The number to call is 800-422-0009
Advocates have been calling the number for the crisis hotline to check and make sure that the hotline actually provides "callers with information on treatment" since the hotline was advertised as offering this information during Governor O'Malley's last year in office. 

Sadly --the call center staff provide accurate information ONLY 1 in 5 times to parents seeking treatment for a child suffering from a chronic often-fatal opioid use disorder!!

Advocates made DHMH and NCADD aware of this problem in 2014 ...then again in 2015 ...then again in 2016 ...NOW, in 2017, DHMH has partnered with NCADD and Maryland Public Television to escalate efforts to provide the same WRONG, INACCURATE, and MISLEADING information that it has sought to provide to desperate parents in crisis who are seeking accurate and life-saving information for a son or daughter with a chronic often fatal substance use disorder!

Today, I called the hotline, posing as a parent seeking INPATIENT DETOX for an adult child who uses OPIOIDS INTRAVENOUSLY EVERY DAY and is covered by Maryland MEDICAID.  (The capitalized words should clue the call-taker in to which providers to refer to.  "Intravenous", "daily-use", "opioids" meets medical necessity criteria for referring to "inpatient" "detox").  Consistent with test calls made in 2014, 2015, and 2016, the call-taker gave me 5 referrals --1 inpatient detox provider, 2 hospitals that DO NOT provide opioid detox (and never have), and 2 providers in D.C. that NOT ONLY do not provide opioid detox, BUT DO NOT ACCEPT MARYLAND MEDICAID!! 


What adds insult to injury here is that grassroots peer-founded non-profits across Maryland ARE PROVIDING accurate information regarding treatment services to parents in crisis --based on standard medical necessity criteria and payer criteria.  We are all providing this information with very limited funding that we are responsible for raising.  DHMH fails repeatedly to provide us with opportunities for funding, for technical assistance, or for collaboration.  Even though non-profits ARE PROVIDING these services, DHMH consistently hands large grants that could cover much of the peer-support work currently provided throughout the state, to their favored organizations who ARE NOT currently doing the work, WITHOUT ANY RFP OR BID PROCESS --therefore, non-profit organizations that are providing ACCURATE and NECESSARY information to families in crisis, cannot get the support they need to expand or even to sustain these services. 

Please call the following individuals and ask them to work with Maryland's peer support network to FIX THE CRISIS HOTLINE!!  PLEASE CALL EVERY DAY THIS WEEK!!
(please email and let us know that you have called and/or emailed the following individuals)
Barbara J. Bazron, Ph.D., Executive Director, Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene (410) 402-8452

Marian V. Bland, Deputy Director, Dept of Health & Mental Hygiene  (410) 402-8461

Margie Donohue, Contact for MPT Project and Crisis Hotline Promotion, (410) 402-8667

Kathleen T. Rebbert-Franklin, Deputy Director for Population-Based Behavioral Health (410) 402-8610

Boyd Rutherford, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, (410) 974-3901

Dennis Schrader, Secretary of Health & Mental Hygiene, (410) 767-6500

Maryland Public Television to air documentary highlighting opioid addiction -
February 11 at 7 PM.
Breaking Heroin's Grip: Road to Recovery
Maryland Public Television (MPT) and over two dozen other local TV and radio stations to air a new program called BREAKING HEROIN'S GRIP: ROAD TO RECOVERY on February 11 at 7 p.m.  The program was produced in association with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Behavioral Health Administration . 

The program focuses on the struggles and recovery efforts of three Maryland residents, in rural and urban settings, dealing with opioid addictions. The documentary portion will last 40 minutes and will be followed by a 20 minute live phone bank staffed by crisis hotline staff who will provide callers with information on treatment. 

The number to call is 800-422-0009.
The program was arranged with broadcast and print media as part of an effort to bring localized coverage of the opioid epidemic. Maryland is among many states with surging numbers of fatal overdoses largely from opioids, which include prescription painkillers and heroin.

We ask that you post the promo on any social media your organization may actively be using:

If you have any questions or need any further information, please contact Margie Donohue at or 410-402-8667