This week, county executives from Howard, Harford and Anne Arundel Counties hosted a Tri-County Opioid Addiction summit to address the addiction problem that is showing no signs of slowing down in Maryland, despite increased awareness and efforts from county organizations, law enforcement, and treatment centers.

So far in 2016, Maryland has seen 920 overdoses (compares to 610 from the same time period last year). At the summit, county executives outlined their plans and ongoing efforts to alleviate the opiate crisis, and to bring key issues out into the open for discussion. Anne Arundel County, for example, outlined their tactic of targeting drug dealers for jail and penal consequences, and finding treatment and help for those who are simply suffering from addiction. The summit also featured testimonials from local celebrities and officials who have struggled with and overcome addiction, making the attending medical professionals in particular aware of the dangers of overprescribing and prescription medication addiction. All three counties agreed that putting more money into education, prevention, and treatment, was a non negotiable.

With numbers of overdoses and deaths continuing to rise, not only in Maryland but across the country, it is encouraging to see local officials putting forth effort and doing the work to team up and find the best possible solutions for helping addicts that are still struggling, and trying to prevent others from becoming addicted.

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