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Maryland law on immunity in drug overdose cases

gavel2 1 Maryland’s Criminal Procedure statutes provides for immunity from arrest or criminal sanction when a call is made for medical assistance because of a suspected drug overdose. 

Whether that immunity extends to a person who has overdosed when someone else calls 911 was explored in a reported opinion last week from Maryland’s intermediate appellate Court in a case called Christopher Noble v. State of Maryland.

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Maryland awarded opioid assistance grant

  • Published in State

Maryland FlagIn hopes of easing the impacts of the opioid crisis in the state, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded Maryland $1,975,085 grant fund to help former addicts find employment.

Maryland, along with six other states, is receiving a combined $22 million in grant money, as part of the federal government plan to help lessen the effects of the opioid crisis.

The funding will help people affected by the opioid crisis, often through addiction or a close relative that has become addicted, find employment through training and education and help match prospective employees to employers.

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MoCo launches new suicide and drug abuse prevention campaign - ‘BTheOne’

  • Published in Local

BTheOnePosters at bus shelters, public service announcements and a website marked the County’s new campaign to curb teen suicide and drug abuse.

The public education campaign, entitled “BTheOne,” launched Oct. 19.

“Suicide and substance abuse are not the answer,” County Executive Ike Leggett said during the brief opening event. “Far too many teens believe it is, and the results are tragic.”

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Code 3 holds training session for police on dangers of opioid crisis

  • Published in Local

Two undercover County police officers joined about 50 area officers for an all-day session on the dangers of the opioid crisis to both themselves and drug users.

During training Oct. 4 in Washington, D.C., the officers learned about the dangers of drugs laced with fentanyl and carfentanil, two chemical substances much more potent than heroin. Just being in the bathroom when a carfentanil-laced opioid is flushed down the toilet so the police cannot find it creates residue in the air that “can bring an officer to his knees,” said John Burke, co-founder and president of the International Health Facility Diversion Association with more than 32 years’ experience in pharmaceutical diversion investigations.

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Local Rotary clubs begin programs to battle drug addiction

  • Published in Local

Rotary logoThe Rotary Clubs in Central Maryland and Washington, D.C., last week kicked off an educational program designed to help prevent future drug overdoses and deaths.

The 61 rotary clubs, representing more than 2,000 members, are making the opioid crisis a high priority in the coming year by using their members’ connections in the community to fight drug abuse, they announced July 26 during a news conference at Snowdens Funeral Home in Rockville.

The rotary clubs will focus on middle and high school students and already have reached out to County officials and school board members, said Greg Wims, the newly elected governor of this area’s clubs.

“Family members leave their unfinished medications in their medicine cabinet for two or three years,” Wims said.

“We want to teach fifth-graders to tell their family to discard” the unused medicines before the youngsters take them to get high or try and sell them, he said.

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County considers recovery schools to battle addiction

  • Published in Local

ROCKVILLE — Opioid addiction has increasingly become a problem in Montgomery County and across the state of Maryland over recent years. In their July 11 meeting, the Montgomery County Public Schools Board of Education took steps to combat the problem with a discussion on a possible solution: recovery schools.

 A recovery school is a special program for students who have problems with drug addiction. The program would target students in grades 8-12. These schools will help students stay sober, and give students the tools that they need to stay away from drugs in the future. Nearly 40 of these types of schools currently exist across the United States, and it is an option that MCPS is weighing in order to combat drug overdose problems in its own county.

The emphasis for the proposed recovery school came down to three points in the meeting. First, that the school would be committed to recovery maintenance and support rather than primary treatment. Second, the proposed program would have an equal balance between therapy and academics. Third, the school would be focused on graduating its own students, rather than sending them back to their home school.

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Opioid abuse on the upswing in Montgomery

  • Published in Local

Opioid abuse in Montgomery County is “an equal opportunity” menace that has hit “businessmen, professionals, schoolteachers, nurses” and so many others, said Alejandra Munoz, the sole case manager for a County program aimed at getting drug users into treatment rather than a jail cell.

“I have middle to upper class [people] and those with low social economic status. I have two grandmothers,” she said of the users she tries to get into the program called STEER, which stands for Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate and Rehabilitate.

Opioid-related overdoses are increasing rapidly here. Last year, there were 154 nonfatal opioid-related overdoses, a whopping 175 percent increase from 2015. During that same period, there were 56 fatal overdoses, a 9 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, according to Cpt. Paul Liquorie, director of the County Police Department’s Special Investigations Division.

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NIH study reveals decline in teenage drug use

  • Published in News

BETHESDA – Teen drug use has declined for all substances since 2015, according to a new study by the National Institutes of Health.

“What we are seeing this year, which we saw last year, is significant decreases in the patterns of illicit substances across all ages,” said Nora Volkov, director of NIH’s National Institute of Drug Abuse.

The study surveyed eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders in public schools across the contiguous United States on the use and consumption of a variety of substances including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, heroin and prescription drugs.

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The hidden pain and grip of heroin addiction

  • Published in Local

Survivors and relatives speak to the pain and suffering of those caught in the grip of a dangerous drug

MP1 5780Lynda Hudmon talks of her son A.J., who died from a heroin overdose at age 22. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

In retrospect, it should have been obvious. But when her cash, jewelry and even a bottle of perfume went missing, Lynda Hudmon of Damascus didn’t connect the dots. 

She slowly began to suspect her teenage son, Anthony James “A.J.” Hudmon, used drugs, probably marijuana. But Hudmon didn’t realize her son was addicted to heroin until it was much too late. He died from a heroin overdose, the fifth overdose in his short life. He was only 22 years old.  

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Heroin a growing concern in MoCo

  • Published in Local

HeroinLisa Lowe’s son was just 16 when she tried to get him treatment for heroin addiction.

She began tirelessly seeking treatment for him, having to remain in the state of Maryland because of her insurance’s policies.

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