Maryland is one of the states the opioid epidemic in the U.S. has hit hardest. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, one of the top four causes of death in the state is opioid overdose.
Many people who become addicted to opioids received prescription painkillers originally from a physician. They may not realize that they have a drug problem at first because they are taking medication at a doctor’s direction. Once they do realize that they have an addiction, it can be difficult to seek treatment because of the stigma attached. Fortunately, the government at the state and local levels, as well as other organizations in Maryland, have taken steps to try to remove the stigma and help people receive the treatment they need.
Blanket prescription for naloxone
Big Cities Health describes how the city health commissioner in Baltimore issued a blanket prescription for naloxone that allows all of the city’s residents to obtain it. Naloxone is a medication that reverses the effects of opioid overdose and can prevent it from proving fatal.
Peer recovery coach
A peer recovery coach is someone who is in recovery themselves who guides someone else with addiction through treatment. UMMC’s peer recovery program matches coaches with people who come into the emergency department of the hospital for opioid overdose.
No doctor prescribes prescription medications with the intention of getting patients hooked. Doctors may not realize how many opioids they are prescribing. UMMC also has a program that addresses the issue through monthly reports showing what medications a physician is prescribing. Doctors prescribing opiates more often than others may undergo training on responsible prescribing practices.