24/7 Crisis, Information, and Referral Line: For Residents in Crisis and Those Seeking Substance Use and Mental Health Services:
August 31, 2019 is International Overdose Awareness Day. Please use and share the following resources to help increase our collective knowledge of overdose and take actions to help stop the alarming increase of overdose-related deaths.
The official website for International Overdose Awareness Day is here.
In 2014, Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake convened a Heroin Treatment and Prevention Task Force to come up with solutions and strategies for Baltimore City to address and combat the rising number of opioid overdoses. The Task Force developed 10 Recommendations including the creation of 24/7, “treatment-on-demand” facility for substance users and a public education campaign to encourage treatment and combat stigma. Read the full report here.
In 2015, the statewide Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force, as issued via executive order by Governor Larry Hogan and chaired by Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford comprised an astounding 33 recommendations for policy regulations, or legislation to improve access to high quality substance use treatment and services. Recommendations include expanding access to treatment and naloxone, promoting educational tools for youth, parents, and school officials such as instituting evidence-based programs and implementing screening tools and providing training, and suggesting alternatives to incarceration for individuals who use drugs and have been impacted by drug use. The full report can be found here.
One key way to prevent an overdose is to learn how to obtain and administer the life-saving overdose-reversal drug Naloxone. Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) is a prescription medicine that can reverse an opioid-related overdose by quickly restoring breathing and consciousness. Naloxone can be administered in two ways; through a nasal spray or via injection (brand name Evzio) and lasts 30-90 minutes.
In 2015, Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, issued a jurisdiction-wide standing order for naloxone to be distributed by pharmacies throughout the city. This means anyone can obtain naloxone without a prescription. To find out where you can get naloxone or to learn more about behavioral health services in Baltimore click here. In addition, check out Don’tDie.org for plenty more information about how opioid overdoses, how to recognize if someone around you is experiencing an overdose, or to find a naloxone training in the city.
Connect with local organizations:
Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition – A diverse group of students, health professionals, and community members who are committed to harm reduction principles and who engage in education, advocacy, and service in the Baltimore area and nationwide.
Bmore Power – Bmore Power is a peer based group of individuals whose mission is to help people safeguard themselves and their communities from mental, physical and societal harms.
BRIDGES – The BRIDGES Coalition (Baltimore Resources for Indoor Drug-use Grassroots Education & Safety) is a group or peers, providers, and advocates working together to advance harm reduction strategies, such as safe consumption spaces, to improve health and justice in and around Baltimore, Maryland.
Communities United – A grassroots, membership organization of low to moderate income individuals and families in Maryland working to organize communities to build power to win transformative change for social, economic, and environmental justice.
About OSI Baltimore
Open Society Institute – Baltimore is a public charity and the sole field office of the Open Society Foundations’ U.S. Programs. We focus on the root causes of three intertwined problems in our city and state: drug addiction, an over-reliance on incarceration, and obstacles that impede youth in succeeding inside and out of the classroom. We believe that discussion and debate are critical to making positive, lasting changes. This site is a testing ground where ideas can be considered and discussion can be fostered.