ANNAPOLIS, MD - Governor Larry Hogan issued the following statement regarding the 2016 Drug- and Alcohol-Related Intoxication Deaths in Maryland Report, released by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene today:
"Since before taking office, Lt. Governor Rutherford and I have been laser-focused on addressing the heroin and opioid epidemic, and these deeply troubling numbers show that this crisis continues to spread and ravage communities all across our state.
"As this crisis evolves, so must our response to it. Earlier this year, Maryland became the first state in the nation to declare an official State of Emergency, enabling us to bring all hands on deck to combat the epidemic, and we dedicated an additional $50 million to support our efforts. In addition, we launched the Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) to facilitate greater collaboration among local, state, and federal agencies. It is only through intense collaboration between all levels of government - including much-needed increased federal investment - as well as local communities, that we can truly solve this problem.
"The deadly impact of heroin and opioid addiction is not confined to Maryland. This is a national scourge that is tearing families and communities apart at the seams, and it cannot be solved by a single state or administration. Although today's news is discouraging, we will never stop searching for innovative solutions to this problem, or fighting as hard as we can to save Marylanders' lives."