News Release, Office of Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford today chaired the Inter-Agency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council Quarterly Meeting at the Worcester County Public Library in Berlin.

The council, led by Lt. Governor Rutherford, consists of representatives from the state’s major agencies involved in the fight against the ongoing opioid epidemic, including the departments of health, public safety, juvenile services, and education, as well as the Maryland State Police, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, the Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

“Governor Hogan and I remain absolutely focused on our comprehensive, holistic approach to addressing the ongoing heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis in Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “We know that no one agency can solve this crisis alone, which is why the coordination among our state agencies is so critical.”

Recently, the Opioid Operational Command Center reported that in Quarter 1 of 2019, Maryland saw a 15 percent decrease in unintentional intoxication deaths and a 14.3 percent decline in opioid-related deaths.

“Our administration has been focused on this for five years, and it looks like we are starting to see results,” Rutherford said. “But, I want to make it very clear that while this news is encouraging, it is no time to pat ourselves on the back and think that our work is now done. It is far from done. I look at this as a step in the right direction, but it will take several more quarters of continuous decline to know for sure if we are making true progress.”

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...