For National Recovery Month, Health Department urges communication, treatment
Baltimore, MD(August 31,2017) – On International Overdoes Awareness Day today and during National Recovery Month in September, the Hogan administration is urging Marylanders to seek treatment as soon as possible for themselves or others who may be abusing substances. Treatment resources can be found at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org
and by calling the 24/7 Maryland Crisis Hotline,800-422-0009.
“So much of the work that is done by the Maryland Department of Health to combat substance use disorder starts with the elimination of stigma. For someone to get to a point of seeking treatment, it often takes that person to work through their worries about what other people might think,” said Secretary Dennis Schrader. “We’re using the occasion of Recovery Month to urge Marylanders to seek treatment before they use again, because that next usage could easily kill them.”
The Department of Health has expanded access to naloxone, which can reverse overdoses related to opioids, and has expanded Medicaid reimbursement for residential treatment for substance use disorders. Medicaid also has “re-bundled” treatment at Medication-Assisted Treatment providers, to ensure that patient-centered counseling takes place.
The Behavioral Health Administration also has placed peer counselors in hospital emergency departments and other settings to reach out to people who have substance use disorders and to provide them with treatment and recovery resources.
“Our Overdose Survivors Outreach Program and our Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program rely on peer counselors – people who have their own recovery testimonies – to persuade others at risk of fatal overdose to get into treatment,” said Behavioral Health Deputy Secretary Dr. Barbara J. Bazron. “These programs really boil down to people communicating, reaching out and saying: ‘You can make it. There are tools available for your recovery journey.’ Community support goes a long way.”
Recovery Month bolsters that community support with local events planned throughout the month. A list of events can be found at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org or at the BHAwebsite at https://bha.health.maryland.gov/Pages/National-Recovery-Day.aspx. “These events can create opportunities for family members, neighbors, best friends and others to have discussions with their loved ones who might be wrestling with substance use disorders,” said Opioid Operational Command Center Director Clay Stamp. “We really want people to seek treatment before it’s too late.”
There also are numerous trainings in naloxone administration held every month throughout the state. Remember that, depending on the substance consumed, more than one dose of naloxone might be required to reverse a person’s overdose. After administration of naloxone, the overdose victim must be taken to a hospital for follow-up medical care.