In an op-ed recently published in the Baltimore Sun, Scott Nolen, director of OSI-Baltimore’s Drug Addiction Treatment program responds to Governor Hogan declaring Maryland in a “state of emergency” over the opioid crisis.
“If this were a hurricane or a flash flood, we would not be blaming victims for their predicament or arguing about whether we should use all means necessary to save people who are stranded on the top of their homes,” wrote Nolen.
Nolen points out that states of emergency are historically used to implement nonstandard plans because of an imminent threat or danger. Therefore, the governor must “acknowledge that traditional courses of action, even if intensified, are not enough to address the current crisis.” And while increasing spending by $50 million over five years for enforcement, prevention and treatment services are “critical” and a commendable effort, dismissing the proposed creation of legal “safe spaces” where drug users can receive proper medical attention while using was disappointing.
Read his full op-ed, “Md. opioid emergency requires unconventional approach,” here.