BALTIMORE – Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency to tackle the heroin epidemic in Maryland.
Hogan announced an additional $50 million in funding for five years for heroin prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts to combat opioid addiction.
The emergency declaration is the result of the initial findings of a Opioid Operational Command Center the administration created in January to encourage greater collaboration among state agencies, the governor said.
“We need to treat this crisis the exact same way that we would treat any other state emergency,” Hogan said Wednesday at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency in Reisterstown.
Hogan said heroin and opioid deaths have doubled in the state in the past year, while heroin use has tripled nationwide.
There are now an estimated 27 million heroin users across the country, Hogan said.
“This is about an all-hands-on-deck approach so that together, we can save the lives of thousands of Marylanders,” he said.