State of Maryland’s Alcohol and Drug Treatment
State of Maryland Substance Abuse Policy
Due to the upsurge in overdose incidences in Maryland, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in pursuance of executive order 01.01.1991.16, which directs public and private authorities with implementing and enforcing compliance with the executive order clauses, established an Interagency Coordinating Council as well as a Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force to curb the menace. The task forceswere mandated with aiding in treatment, recovery, prevention, and utilizing knowledge to avail solutions to save and restore lives. The taskforce then implemented the ‘Maryland Opioid Overdose Prevention Plan,’ a strategy to reduce unintentional overdoses involving opioids. The two will be guided by the Maryland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Administration (ADAA) and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). The strategy encompasses components such as the provision of education and training for health providers, improving access to disorder treatment and recovery services, and improving access to naloxone (Bha, 2015). Incentives include free treatment in some instances and free counseling and provision of advice to patients and families. Penalties may include litigation, dismissal from employment in case of state employees, and other fines. The strict enforcement of alcohol-related laws will also augment the initiative. The regulatory strategy has the following fundamental aspects:
- Emergency Response Plan
The University of Maryland in conjunction with the ADAA is tasked with planning for coordination among healthcare providers, law enforcement agencies, professional organizations, and public health authorities. These agencies will be involved in responding to emergency situations and address critical issues. The plan has a big impact on healthcare professionals and organizations as they are participating in the program construction and implementation. Under the program, individuals will be trained and certified to provide emergency medical services, and will receive a certificate upon completion of training. Private and public entities are also authorized to conduct the training exercise and can apply for approval as authorized training bodies.
- Substance Use Disorder Treatment
The central foundation of the approach to mitigating opioid-related overdoses is through the treatment of persons with substance disorders. The service will be supportedby a majority of Maryland’s 259 rehab centers (DRS, 2015). The service is flexible for payers since it involves a broad range of payment methods including self-payment, Medicare, and Medicaid. The service can also be paidby insurance corporations and is also available for free on some occasions. Since the treatment is only available through heavily regulated and specialized programs, it will have a huge impact on healthcare service providers.
- Controlled Dangerous Substance Integration Unit (CDSIU)
The CDSIU implemented as a fusion center within the DHMH, shares and analyzes information relating to the prescription and dispensing of controlled substances. It will work with health service practitioners, organizers, drug manufacturers, and insurance agencies to identify indicators of potentially problematic prescription and dispensing, determine the policies in place to govern analysis of these indicators, and establish policies for data sharing between units. Moreover, it will establish procedures for data disclosure and operational coordination while also conducting strategic research and develop responses to identified CDS-related threats (Bha, 2015).
Under the program, Naloxone, an opioid antagonist commonly used in emergency situations to reverse respiratory depression and sedation will be made available to communities. It will involve training drug treatment patients and providers on risk factors and overdose response techniques. The initiative is primarily being run by the Baltimore City Health Department in conjunction with localities interested in exploring approaches to Naloxone. It will influence drug developers by increasing the demand for the product, on healthcare providers and organizations by teaming up to conduct the training exercises and avail the drug in their premises, and on insurers by reducing the amount of fatalities due to overdose.
Bha. (2015). Overdose Prevention in Maryland. Retrieved from bha.dhmh.maryland.gov: http://bha.dhmh.maryland.gov/OVERDOSE_PREVENTION/SitePages/Home.aspx
DRS. (2015). Maryland. Retrieved from Addicted.org: http://www.addicted.org/directory/category/maryland.html