WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representative David Trone (all D-MD) today announced $1 million in federal funding to fight the opioid and addiction epidemic in Garrett County.
The funding was awarded to the Stand Together Garrett County Against Drug Abuse consortium, which plans to implement a comprehensive community plan to reverse the trends of substance abuse in the county. Garrett County has been hit particularly hard from the opioid epidemic, with the rural nature of the county making access to services to address substance use disorder limited.
“Despite some progress and a lot of hard work, the opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities in Western Maryland and nationwide,” said Senator Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Finance Health Care Subcommittee. “What gives me hope are the innovative strategies I’ve witnessed around Maryland to serve individuals with the combination of services they need to ultimately overcome addiction. These federal funds will support our hardworking and dedicated local health centers in furthering that effort.”
“The opioid epidemic is ravaging our communities, and health centers are on the front lines of combating this scourge. This funding will give our community much needed resources to treat people impacted by addiction – ultimately pulling them back from the brink and putting them on the path to a healthier life. It is just one part of the federal effort to tackle this public health crisis, and I will keep fighting until we end this epidemic,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committees.
“The opioid epidemic has ravaged our country, and it has hit rural communities in Garrett County particularly hard,” said Rep. David Trone, founder of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction in Congress. “One of the first things I did when I came to Congress was visit Garrett County and talk to those on the front lines of this epidemic – hospitals, health departments, first responders, police officers, mental health professionals, early childhood organizations, and those suffering from substance use disorder. I heard loud and clear that we need more resources like this grant to address this epidemic. We must continue to invest in ending this horrible crisis in our country.”
“The Garrett County Health Department received the Rural Community Opioid Response Program grant on behalf of the grassroots consortium Stand Together Garrett County Against Drug Abuse. This organization is comprised of a group of passionate and caring individuals who genuinely care about those who have a substance abuse disorder, their families, and the young people whom we hope never use a substance,” said Robert Stephens, Garrett County Health Officer. “Each person brings their skills and expertise to the table and together this Garrett County community is working towards ending the stigma of substance abuse. Anyone interested in helping the Stand Together Garrett County Against Drug Abuse can contact Sadie Liller at 301-334-7730.”