Hogan-Rutherford Administration Declares State of Emergency, Announces Major Funding to Combat Heroin and Opioid Crisis in Maryland

March 2, 2017

Dedicates $50 Million in Funding Over 5 Years, Taps Senior Emergency Management Advisor to Lead Effort

Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2017.02 declaring a State of Emergency in response to the heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis ravaging communities in Maryland and across the country. This declaration activates the governor’s emergency management authority and enables increased and more rapid coordination between the state and local jurisdictions. The governor, along with Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, also announced $50 million in new funding to address the crisis, as well as the appointment of the governor’s senior emergency management advisor Clay Stamp to lead the state’s coordinated effort to combat the crisis.

Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford made the announcement at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Emergency Operations Center in Reisterstown, MD. They were joined by Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention Executive Director Glenn Fueston, MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland, Department of Human Resources Secretary Lourdes Padilla, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Dennis Schrader, Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Sam Abed, Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi, Dr. Sylvia Lawson of the Maryland State Education Department, and emergency management officials from jurisdictions across the state.

“We need to treat this crisis the exact same way we would treat any other state emergency. With this continuing threat increasing at such an alarming rate, we must allow for rapid coordination with our state and local emergency teams,” said Governor Hogan. “We must cut through the red tape so that we are empowering the important work being done in our many state agencies and at the local level all across our state. This is about taking an all-hands-on-deck approach so that together we can save the lives of thousands of Marylanders.”

“The fact of the matter is that people all across Maryland, and across our country, are looking for answers when it comes to this heroin and opioid epidemic. Too many families know the devastation caused by this crisis and the death toll is climbing,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “Ultimately, this is about saving lives, and it will take all of us working together in a collaborative, holistic approach to achieve that.”

The State of Emergency declaration is a result of the initial findings of the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) established by the administration in January to facilitate greater collaboration among state agencies, including health and human services, education, and public safety entities. The OOCC’s work made it clear that the state needed greater flexibility to activate emergency teams in jurisdictions across the state and engage local communities. The governor’s executive order delegates emergency powers to state and local emergency management officials, enabling them to fast-track coordination among state and local agencies and community organizations, including private sector and nonprofit entities to ensure whole-community involvement.

The governor also announced a supplemental budget of $50 million in new funding over a five-year period to support Maryland’s prevention, recovery, and enforcement efforts. Rather than locking us into inflexible spending through statute, the governor’s plan will provide flexibility to public health and safety professionals in order to address this emergency.

Finally, the governor announced that he has tasked his senior advisor for emergency management, Clay Stamp, to oversee this coordinated effort. As Executive Director of MEMA, Stamp managed the administration’s response to the Baltimore riots in 2015, and has proven experience with efficiently and effectively facilitating efforts between state, local, and community-based entities to respond to crises in real time.

“As an emergency management professional, it gives me great honor to have been chosen to lead such an important effort, and to serve next to the many dedicated and highly capable people who are working to eliminate the impact this crisis is having on the people of Maryland,” said Stamp.

In January, the governor and lieutenant governor announced the administration’s 2017 Heroin Prevention, Treatment, and Enforcement Initiative, a multi-pronged strategy to tackle the evolving threat of heroin and opioid addiction. The initiative includes three important pieces of legislation: the Prescriber Limits Act of 2017, the Distribution of Opioids Resulting in Death Act, and the Overdose Prevention Act, as well as important budgetary actions, including $4 million in new funding to address the crisis.

Since forcefully recognizing and identifying the rapidly growing opioid and heroin epidemic during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford have made proactively addressing this crisis a cornerstone of the administration’s agenda. In 2015, Governor Hogan signed an executive order creating the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, chaired by Lt. Governor Rutherford. The task force developed 33 recommendations focused on prevention, treatment, and enforcement to aggressively combat the opioid and heroin crisis.

The administration has also addressed the crisis at the regional and national levels. In October 2016, the governor signed a regional compact with Virginia and Washington, D.C. leadership to coordinate the region’s response to the crisis. This past weekend, the governor discussed the crisis with fellow governors and senior federal officials at the National Governor’s Association winter meeting, and raised the issue as a top priority for the state in a meeting with Maryland’s federal delegation convened by the governor in February.


31 Responses to Hogan-Rutherford Administration Declares State of Emergency, Announces Major Funding to Combat Heroin and Opioid Crisis in Maryland

  1. Bobbi on March 2, 2017 at 10:50 am

    We will see…NOW WONT WE??..wow….Politics..politics!!!!!

    A nice clean up or hang up job…oh yeah lets hope….there’s not mishandling of the funds….WE will SEE

  2. Anonymous on March 2, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Out-of-town immigrants and junkies bringing their problems over here. Maryland never had a heroin crisis until more recent years. Keep your drugs, snotty attitudes and nonsense in your own state. We don’t want that crap over here.

    • Ms. Justice bb on March 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Okay! I am tired of your racist ass remarks!Let me give some history. Heroin has been here for many years. Forty,fifty years or more. It was brought here to kill black people years ago or more. Many black people did died from over doses in the 70,80,even before then. However,heroin and coke was a rich man high.Guess who brought it here the white man! It was meant to kill blacks. Black people didn’t have air planes to fly it here but,whites did. Whites didn’t care how many blacks died. Now the shoes on the other foot now it has become a NATIONAL PROBLEM BECAUSE TOO MANY BLONDS BLUE EYES WHITES ARE DYING!Just remember this:Some times the whole you dig for blacks your racist ass might fall into it!Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!!!

      • Tyrone on March 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

        you Racist POS never black people’s fault blame it on whitey

      • Nancypelosi on March 3, 2017 at 10:14 am

        you Racist POS never black people’s fault blame it on whitey

      • GrandeDookie on March 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        Hahahahahaha, these conspiracy theories that (insert drug) was created to kill black people is beyond laughable. Because there is a fool proof way to not die from using drugs. Wait for it. Here comes the fool proof way: Don’t use illegal drugs. That’s it. There’s your solution, free of charge. Crack was not created to kill black people, it was created because coke was too expensive. Heroin wasnt created to kill black people either. But, just to go with your theory and humor you, you are admitting that the black community doesn’t have the ability to resist drug use? Pretty sad that a group of people, in this case those evil whities got together and said, “hey everyone, black people are such pathetic beings, that cant resist drugs, we can wipe them out by creating a dangerous drug and peddling it in the ‘hood. Even if it starts killing them off they are so weak minded and stupid that they still wont be able to resist the temptation to get high for 10 minutes…”. Yeah, I’m sure your way is how it happened.

    • Stan on March 2, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Respectfully responding, Maryland has never had a heroin epidemic until recently? Baltimore and our state has been at the epicenter of this crisis for over 50 years now.

  3. Anonymous on March 2, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    If they want people to not user heroin then they should just tell them that heroin completely screws up you life and your families life and your friends life. They should also tell them that heroin make people turn into thieves and unreasonable POS’s. Lastly they should also mention that only completely stupid people would inject this poison into their veins and there is the possibility of death with every stick of the needle.
    Waite, everyone already knows this information and they still decide to use this junk. It is sad to think there are that many selfish, uncaring, entitled, mental defectives in this state. 50 million would send a lot of low-income motivated kids to college.

    • You are an idiot on March 2, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      As a person with an opioid addiction, I am one of the most caring, unselfish, non-entitled people you will ever meet. Not everyone is a “junkie”. I am a highly functioning addict with a great job, a home, a wife and kids. No police record…..you know….junkie stuff.

      It started with a back problem, doctors giving me way too many pain pills, and then getting addicted to them. The doctors are then limited on how many they can give you, which turns into buying them on the streets then inevitably it gets too expensive then leads to heroin. Thankfully I stopped before it got to heroin, but I will always be an addict.

      • Nancypelosi on March 3, 2017 at 10:12 am

        You took them now didn’t you? Never Thought it would be a problem?

        • To reply.... on March 4, 2017 at 10:14 am

          I started taking pills for back pain over 20 years ago, long before it was in the eyes of the nation. Back then, doctors were just handing them out like candy. The doctors were told to “treat the pain”….and they did. And no, I never thought it would become a problem. The only side affect the doctors warned me of was constipation, serious. They started warning me about the addictive nature long after I was already addicted.

      • GrandeDookie on March 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        Your struggle is a real issue with many people across the country who have found themselves in the same situation as you. And the people that have similar stories to yours are the ones I have sympathy for. Problem is, the majority of people that are part of this “epidemic” are simply the “loser junkie” that people imagine when they think about heroin use. Starting as a dependency on pain meds is a far cry from the person that just likes to get high and get drunk and party and all that. The people who are addicts by choice are the problem. Becoming an addict from pain meds isn’t what I would consider a “choice”. Waking up one day and deciding to try heroin cuz you heard its an awesome high is the problem, those are the “by choice” people I am referring to. The mental capacity of someone who would consciously make that choice presents a terrifying outlook on our future as a society

        • BLESSED on March 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm

          Man you said a mouth full!!! I agree totally!

      • Anonymous on March 6, 2017 at 8:31 am

        Sorry buddy but it all starts with lack of willpower not the doctor. No doctor will cut you off for no reason. I guarantee you were taking more then he prescribed and he busted you on it and dropped you. Guess what, I am on pain management for a major back injury and have been for 10 years now. I have 11 fused vertebra and no muscle in my mid to lower back and I only take what the doctor says and would gladly go through the withdrawals tomorrow if they could cure the pain I still have. The pills don’t even touch my pain some days but I would rather have a few bad days then turn to buying pills illegally or injecting poison. If you turned to buying them on the streets you lack self control and will power.

  4. Anonymous on March 2, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    A state of emergency!? You gotta be kidding me. I realize its an issue but throwing money at the problem is NOT gonna do a thing. This is NOT a disease, its a CHOICE these dope heads choose to make. Let them make the choice they make and think of it as thinning the heard.

  5. Stan on March 2, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Drug usage should be seen as a health issue by authorities. Criminalizing usage did not go well during the prohibition of the early 20th century and thats the reason why alcohol prohibition was repealed. Chemicals and plants don’t get handcuffed and processed, people do.

    • Proudtobeanamerican on March 5, 2017 at 9:46 am

      The selling or use of a Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) will always be illegal. I have previously heard the argument that drug use is a health issue. However, it is not viral, not a bacterium and it is not contagious from a cough, sneeze or bodily fluid contact. So, from a medical set of standards, it is not a “health issue”. However, you are correct that people will continue to call it that. If it makes them feel better to declare that it is a “health issue” to get attention to it, I am fine it.

      • John doe on March 7, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        There is a difference between a “public health issue” and a “health issue”. We, as a nation, have been treating it as a criminal justice issue for 50 years and that has done nothing to curb usage rates or availability. It is time for a different approach. Luckily, there are provisions in the order for prevention and treatment.

      • Stan on March 10, 2017 at 4:01 am

        Obesity which is a known cause of diabetes is neither viral, bacterial, nor contagious so according to your logic it is not a health issue. You just used the phrase controlled dangerous substance, key word ‘dangerous’, but again according to you no health issues involved. I am willingly drinking a beer, which should by definition be a cds but not defined as such under the law. Alcohol consumption is a heath issue. I know it to be unhealthy but its the choice I make with my own body. I would be a 3 strike felon unable to vote if my Miller Lite use was criminalized. Educate people and let them make choices.

  6. Anonymous on March 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Clearly the users are not reading these articles or caring too much about what the epidemic! Its almost like the Governor is trying to FORCE the help upon these people and that is where it is going to be a fail! These people HAVE TO WANT THE HELP!..NOT BE FORCED TO GET IT! Yes unfortunately there are a lot of people losing their lives but unfortunately it is due to the BAD CHOICES THEY ARE MAKING!!! NOBODY is forcing them to inject that poison into their veins..swallow the pills or whatever else. So until the addict wakes up to change their ways..NOTHING WILL CHANGE!!!

    • BLESSED on March 5, 2017 at 12:33 pm


  7. Mateo on March 3, 2017 at 5:23 am

    50 million to clean up alot of addicts that probably got hooked on pills from perscriptions and found it cheaper on the streets. I dont understand why its ok when big pharm is making the money off addicts? Then when its an epidemic they are no where to be found and tax payers are again slaved into fixing thier mess. Kinda like the current health care crisis huh.

  8. Proudtobeanamerican on March 3, 2017 at 10:32 am

    There are many people that have been helped at taxpayer expense and still have gone right back to it. What makes things worse is that quite a few of the users turn to selling the drugs themselves to support their habit. Therefore, it creates the pyramid effect. All of these folks are potentially good people that make the choice to do drugs and thus throw away their lives. I know about the peer pressure issue, but at some point you would think their own reasoning would kick in. At this point, people of all ages know that drugs of any type are bad. Yet, more and more make the “choice” to do it anyhow. The pushers need to have stiff sentences with NO possibility of parole. Yet, I am quite aware that our State does indeed parole drug dealer pushers even with their declare an emergency. The State declares one thing and does another. It’s a shame. Our government is losing the war on this issue. I read the other day the instead of fighting the problem, the State has a Bill pending that will create drug use sanctuary Communities where their drug use can be “monitored”. What next?

    • BLESSED on March 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      I started reading your comment and was agreeing with it, till I got to the dealers getting stiffer sentences. Are you speaking about the little dummy on the street,the doctors or the people who indeed get paid the manufacturers? First in far most you have to start at the top and work your way down the pole. If you cut off the head of the problem then the rest should be easier to contain. But when a CEO kills himself because he learns that his little angel or little man is now the junkie that he, himself use the drug to furnish to others that put his family on the road to prosperity. Then the course is now a problem and needs to be address! In which he cannot bear to do prison time,so he does what I consider cowards, take the easy way on the course death. It is LIFE DEAL WITH OR DIE!!!

  9. Faith on March 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Thank you Governor Hogan.

  10. Productive Member of Society on March 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you for coming forward and stating what alot of others have gone thru. The medical community was instructed to treat pain in a different manner, not what caused the pain but treat the actual pain. Guess what numbs some of that dibilatating pain..? Opioids The problem became magnified when legal *Doctors* fell for the advice and recommendations they were provided all the way to the federal level for their practice. I do not know exactly how much influence the Pharmacutical company’s had but realistically they had the product to sell. The doctors had the patients and it seemed all legit, a good direction. The major issue was very little oversight as well as perception that is was *safe* ended up creating many addicts of all ages, all races and economic backgrounds, after all it was from *doctors*. The evidence points to money being the main driving force. Money to Pharmacutical company’s and very little oversight and very very little care for the long lasting affects daily usage of highly addicting substances creates. Society sees junkies, people who are weak and many argue drug addiction is a character flaw vs a genuine disease. Many will form their own opinion on how we ended up in this crisis but if compassionate humans truly wanted to make a difference and end this epidemic for many they would support actual proper treatment for those willing to end this deadly cycle. There are many folks who can beat this, turn around the death spiral with the proper support. I know as I am standing upright breathing and full of life today by the grace of God and luckily a great support system. Before you judge take a hard look at the person in the crisis. Help, treatment, a strong support system can definitely be much cheaper than incarceration at tax payers expense or death of someone who very well may be a productive member of society again.

    • Proudtobeanamerican on March 5, 2017 at 9:37 am

      I am not aware of any Detention Center in any County that does not have a drug rehabilitation program. However, the addict has to “want” the help. For those that don’t want help, leave their butt in jail.

    • BLESSED on March 5, 2017 at 2:03 pm



  11. Anonymous on March 3, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Throwing a bunch of money at a problem, rarely solves said problem.

  12. Murdaland Is So Dope on March 4, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Living under Democrat rule is what is causing people to resort to drug use. People in a drug induced stupor can forget they live in Maryland. Leave Maryland and you can kick the drug habit!

    • Omar on March 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      How we gonna get that paper, up here in Bodymore, if we stop slinging that dope? No hope, without dope! You feel me?