Website launched to combat growing drug problem in MD

heroin guyTo raise awareness of the rapid increase in the use of heroin, opiod and fentanyl in Maryland, the Hogan-Rutherford administration has launched a new web portal, “Before It’s Too Late.”

“For nearly three years, our administration has been focused on combating the heroin and opioid crisis from every angle, including prevention, treatment and recovery," said Gov. Larry Hogan. "This new web portal is another tool to raise awareness and provide critical resources to all Marylanders so that we can save thousands of lives, before it’s too late.”

The new website, BeforeItsTooLateMD.org, is a one-stop shop for individuals, families, educators and health care professionals to get the educational resources they need to prevent this epidemic from spreading because education goes hand-in-hand with prevention. This public awareness effort also includes a social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Teenagers are not immune to the problem as seen in a recent story on why teens are turning to heroin. So even parents of younger children in Maryland should pay attention to this problem.

“Education and public awareness go hand-in-hand with prevention, and are an essential component of our efforts to turn the tide in this heroin and opioid crisis,” Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford said. "The Before It's Too Late portal will provide addicts, family members, educators, and health professionals with the resources they need to get help, understand the disease of addiction, and reduce stigma, in order to save lives."

The “Before It’s Too Late” tagline is derived from a PSA the governor released featuring actor Michael Kelly in March urging parents to discuss the risks of opiod and heroin use with their children. The launch follows the Regional Opioid and Substance Abuse Summit, which featured Governor Hogan, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe as speakers, and the first-ever Maryland Heroin and Opioid Educational Forum for students at Westminster High School in Carroll County, hosted by Lt. Governor Rutherford.

In March, Hogan declared a State of Emergency in response to the heroin, opioid and fentanyl crisis ravaging communities in Maryland and across the country. This declaration activated the governor’s emergency management authority and enables increased and more rapid coordination between the state and local jurisdictions.

The governor also announced $50 million in new funding to address the crisis, as well as the appointment of the governor’s senior emergency management advisor Clay Stamp to lead the Opioid Operational Command Center, which is mobilizing all available resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery.

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