Continuing with his commitment to address the heroin and opioid epidemic in Anne Arundel County, County Executive Steve Schuh recently participated in the first meeting of the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic sponsored by the National Association of Counties and the National League of Cities.

“The heroin epidemic is a national problem, but there are local solutions that work,” said Schuh. “Working and learning from other jurisdictions, we can find more innovative ways to address this growing crisis.”

The Task Force will explore how cities and counties can collaborate to address the opioid epidemic and how local leaders can help to build upon these collaborations and to scale them nationally in order to improve outcomes in America’s local communities.

The Task Force will aim to increase awareness of the opioid epidemic; elevate proven solutions; provide policy recommendations to local, state and federal governments; and disseminate guidance and solutions to city and county officials.

Anne Arundel County is working to address the crisis by taking the following actions:

  • Investing $800,000 for the Health Department to initiate a new substance abuse treatment center and expand treatment options.
  • Increasing by 25% a community grant for substance abuse providers to nearly $375,000.
  • Investing more than $500,000 to fund a heroin enforcement intra-county task force.
  • Doubling the budget for the police department’s Drug Diversion Squad to more than $240,000.
  • Nearly doubling the budget for crucial tools in the heroin fight, such as Narcan, to more than $85,000.