Trone Hosts Opioid Epidemic Workshop with 264 People, Joined by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Hannah Muldavin, Hannah.Muldavin@mail.house.gov
Hagerstown, MD - Tonight, Representative David Trone (MD-06), hosted a Congressional workshop focused on ending the opioid epidemic with special guest Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford. There were 264 people and 20 organizations in attendance at the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown.
The event was Trone’s second workshop and the final event in his three-day tour of the district focusing on the opioid epidemic. Trone’s events during the week included a NARCAN training with local officials, a ridealong with the Hagerstown Police Department, and visits with individuals in recovery.
The opioid workshop featured a panel of experts to discuss the various aspects of the opioid epidemic. Hagerstown City Councilwoman Emily Keller gave opening remarks. The panel included:
- Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford
- Dr. Michael Fingerhood, Medical Director of John Hopkins Comprehensive Care Practice and an expert in addiction medicine
- Kevin Roy, Chief Public Policy Officer with Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families
- Victoria Sterling, Director of Behavioral Health Services at the Washington County Health Department
“This week I’ve toured the district to listen and learn about what resources our communities need from the federal government to continue operating and serving those suffering from addiction,” said Rep. David Trone (MD-06). “The community has really stepped up to combat this epidemic, and now it’s up to us at the state and federal level to provide funding and resources to support these efforts.”
“The opioid crisis in our state and nation is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue," said Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford. "It is going to take all of us - on both sides of the aisle and at every level of government - working together to solve this problem and make a difference in the lives of those suffering from substance use disorder."
“It’s well documented that we are in the midst of the deadliest health crisis in US history. It’s going to take a village to solve this issue, so I appreciate Congressman Trone bringing everyone together to educate, spread awareness, and helped fight addiction,” said Hagerstown Councilwoman Emily Keller. “Our community can get through this with ground work on the local level all the way up to David’s work at the federal level.”
“It is important for everyone to be knowledgeable about opioids. People over age 45 appear to be especially vulnerable to overdose death related to fentanyl, and most opioids sold on the street are fentanyl and not heroin,” said Dr. Michael Fingerhood, Medical Director of John Hopkins Comprehensive Care Practice and an expert in addiction medicine. We need naloxone everywhere to reverse overdose, but most of all we need to remove stigma, so that individuals with opioid use disorder can get effective treatment. There has to be a sense of hope, as recovery happens every day.”
"I believe the most effective way to combat the opioid epidemic is to attack it on every level, including prevention, intervention and treatment,” said Victoria Sterling, Director of Behavioral Health Services at the Washington County Health Department. “We need to teach our youth about the dangers of prescription pain medication. We need to expand services to at risk individuals and we need to ensure that there is adequate access to all levels of care."
“The opioid and addiction crisis is killing more than 70,000 people each year. It is going to take a concerted effort by all levels of government and throughout communities to change the trajectory of this crisis,” said Kevin Roy, Chief Public Policy Officer for Shatterproof. “I commend Representative Trone for convening this event, to do just this, and Lieutenant Governor Rutherford and the other distinguished leaders for participating. This crisis will only abate once best practices on prevention, treatment and recovery that are supported by research are broadly known and adopted.”
The panel discussed the many aspects of the opioid epidemic including how to promote education at an early age about addiction, how to create inclusive care practices, and how we can start to combat some of the stigma around addiction.
In addition to the panel discussion, there were 20 organizations focused on providing resources to constituents regarding the opioid epidemic. The Hagerstown Police Department was also on hand to collect any unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs.
The organizations included: Alternative Drug and Alcohol Counseling (ADAC), Brook Lane, Brooke’s House, Celebrate Recovery, Concerted Care Group, Frederick County Health Department, Frederick Institute, Genesis Treatment Services, Hagerstown Police Department, Justice and Recovery Advocates, Inc, Maryland Coalition of Families, Meritus Health, Narcotics Anonymous, The Phoenix Foundation, Potomac Case Management, Serenity Treatment Center, Turning Point - Way Station, Washington County Health Department, Washington Goes Purple, and Wells House Inc Residential and Outpatient Care Treatment.
In Congress, Trone has made tackling the opioid epidemic a top priority. In his first months in office, he started the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, a bipartisan group of more than 50 Members dedicated to solving the addiction crisis in this country. This month, he announced the introduction of the bipartisan Providing Officers With Electronic Resources (POWER) Act, which would help law enforcement agencies secure high-tech, portable screening devices that assist offers in the detection of fentanyl and other dangerous drugs.
Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees, where he is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.