Focused on a Multi-Pronged Approach to Addressing the Opioid Crisis

News Release, Before it’s too Late

ANNAPOLIS, MD–The Hogan-Rutherford administration has officially proclaimed September as National Recovery Month in Maryland. This observance is held every year to educate citizens that substance use treatment and mental health services can help those with mental and substance use disorders to live healthy and rewarding lives.

With this proclamation, Maryland recognizes the millions who are in recovery from mental and substance use disorders. This is an opportunity to remember that help is available and that people who suffer from addiction often recover. Recovery Month is also a time to acknowledge the harmful effects of stigma, which often stops people from seeking treatment for substance use disorders and complicates the public’s understanding of this public health crisis.

In observance of Recovery Month, Government House will be illuminated in purple on September 9. Additionally, officials from various state agencies plan to attend events being held across the state throughout the month to mark this important occasion.

“During Recovery Month, we seek to remind Marylanders not only of the dangers and consequences of substance abuse but to break down the stigma surrounding the disease of addiction and to let those suffering know that they are not alone and that there is hope and help out there for them,” said Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. “Our administration continues to remain laser-focused on addressing substance abuse and the opioid epidemic through a holistic, multi-pronged approach, including prevention, enforcement, and treatment.”

“September is a time for communities all over Maryland to reflect on the challenges that addiction and opioids present to our state and others,” observed Steve Schuh, executive director of the Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center. “With the Hogan administration’s support, we are making great progress in this fight, and we are expertly positioned for a healthy futurebut there is no time to rest.”

Maryland continues to serve as a leader in the fight against the opioid epidemic with an organized response that is considered a model for other states. Maryland’s opioid response includes programs in the areas ofPrevention & Education,Enforcement & Public SafetyandTreatment & Recovery –efforts that have led to a decrease in opioid-related fatalities.

On August 29, the Opioid Operational Command Center, in coordination with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, announced nearly $10 million in grants to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic during the fiscal year 2020. The funding for the fiscal year 2020 is part of a $50 million, five-year commitment from the administration announced in 2017. 

“Maryland is attacking the opioid crisis and substance use disorder using every available tool,” said Schuh. “We aim to stop this issue in its tracks, and we will not rest until this grave threat to our state and its citizens has been thwarted.”

Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to the opioid epidemic and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, enforcement, and treatment. Marylanders struggling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org; through our state’s crisis hotline, CALL 211, PRESS 1; or by texting their ZIP code to 898-211. For more information on National Recovery Month, visit SAMHSA’s dedicated web site at RecoveryMonth.gov.


David M. Higgins II

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...