Cardin, Van Hollen, Trone Announce $1 Million in Funding for Rural Opioid Response in Garrett County
Credit: WCBC Radio
Today, Representative David Trone and U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (all D-MD) 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.
“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.”
“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 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.”
Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland. In Congress, he founded the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, a bipartisan group of 64 freshmen lawmakers dedicated to ending the addiction epidemic in the country. Thus far, the group has visited Johns Hopkins Medical facilities to see the latest research on addiction, introduced legislation to combat the spread of the epidemic, and promoted practices and policies to tackle the crisis from every angle. In June, Trone wrote about the progress the group has made within Congress, acknowledging the long way we still have to go to stop the spread of addiction.