Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today signed an executive order creating the Opioid Collaborative Community Council. The move comes as a result of funds received that are expected to eventually reach $12.3 million through a National Settlement Agreement with opioid manufacturers.
Howard County received approximately $230,000 in December 2022 and is expected to receive $12.3 million during the next 15-to-20 years. The settlement payments will be deposited into an Opioid Abatement Fund established by the County.
The Council will make recommendations for the fiscal 2024 budget on or before June 30, 2023, with final findings made on or before July 31, 2024.
The Opioid Collaborative Community Council will consist of the following 17 voting members:
● Barbara Allen, James’ Place (chair)
● Quinton Askew, 211MD
● Robin Bartko, coach/community advocate
● Sarah Blankenship, Maryland Coalition of Families
● Mark Donovan, Congruent Counseling
● Joanie Elder, Donleigh House
● Beth Harbinson, Family Advocate/SOBAR
● Sean Hughes, attorney/community advocate
● Mimi Matthews, clergy
● Jack Matthews, peer recovery specialist
● Sarah McCoy, Grassroots
● Debbie Nix, parent advocate
● Teron Powell Silverman, Treatment Solutions
● Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC Drug Free
● Theresa Thomas, Hilda’s Place
● Cindy Johnson, community representative
● John Way, veteran’s advocate
National litigation against opioid manufactures began in December 2017 and Howard County filed its lawsuit in May 2019. States and their subdivisions reached a settlement agreement with the defendants in February 2022.
In Howard County, fatal opioid overdoses fell from a high of 47 in 2020, to 31 in 2022, a 34% decrease. Nonfatal overdoses fell from a high of 188 in 2018, to 111 in 2022, a 41% decrease.