WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced $1,975,085 in federal funding to fight Maryland’s opioid health crisis. The National Health Emergency (NHE) Dislocated Worker Demonstration Grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, and will be used to assist Marylanders who have been impacted by the epidemic to find and secure gainful employment.
“The opioid and heroin epidemic is a public health crisis that hurts every state in our country, and every part of Maryland. Some parts of our state have the highest per capita rates of heroin and opioid drug use in the United States,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Facing this challenge head-on means supporting those who have been directly affected and ensuring that they can recover, get back on their feet and support their families. This federal investment represents a commitment to that, and I’ll keep fighting to ensure the federal government remains an active partner in Maryland’s response to this crisis.”
“Opioid addiction has wreaked havoc in Maryland and across the country, leaving no community unscathed. This funding will help people impacted by this scourge to secure a job, provide for their families, and get their lives back on track. We will keep fighting until we end this epidemic that has brought tragedy and despair in its wake,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees.
The Maryland Department of Health reports that in 2016, 1,856 Marylanders died as a result of opioid-related overdose – a sharp increase from 1,089 deaths in 2015, and 888 in 2014.
A total of $22 million in grant funding is being awarded to six states in all: Maryland, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington, Rhode Island and Alaska. Supported by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, NHE Demonstration Grants provide funding to states, outlying areas and eligible tribal governments to address the economic and workforce impacts associated with the opioid health crisis.