With too many of our neighbors lacking access to life-saving treatment, opioid addiction has become an urgent crisis that requires committed leadership.
Over 80 percent of Marylanders agree that opioid addiction is a major problem in our state, and support medical treatment to address it. Over half personally know someone who has been addicted to opioids. Colleen has a plan for how we can start to solve our opioid crisis, improving the quality of life for all of us.
What can we do?
- Open community-based substance-abuse programs throughout the county. Residents in Baltimore County have fewer options for life-saving treatment for substance abuse today than four years ago, despite experiencing the second highest death toll from opioid-related causes in the state. Colleen understands the importance of turning this around. Currently, outpatient substance-abuse programs are centralized in health departments, which can make them difficult to reach for many residents. Colleen will advocate for a wide range of community-based outpatient substance-abuse programs dispersed throughout our neighborhoods, so all of our residents can access the care they need.
- Fill the vacancies that currently exist on the Baltimore County Behavioral Health Advisory Council. Baltimore County has many tools at its disposal to fight this epidemic, but we can’t use them effectively without adequate staffing. Colleen will work to ensure that the number of vacancies on the Baltimore County Behavioral Health Advisory Council are promptly filled.
- Educate the public on the crisis and how to solve it. As a career educator, Colleen understands the importance of educating and informing the public on the critical issues that face us. Just as fire stations help educate residents on how to prevent fires, community-based substance-abuse programs should help educate residents on how to prevent substance abuse. They should educate residents on how to use life-saving Nalaxone, for example, and provide programming and education on smoking cessation, overdose prevention, communicable-disease prevention, and safe drinking for those who receive DWI violations.