Maryland gets $17 million federal grant to expand access to opioid treatment

Maryland is getting $17.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the latest installment in a program designed to expand access to opioid treatment.

The two-year-old program seeks to address the opioid crisis in part by making Food and Drug Administration-approved medications more widely available.

The addition of the $17.3 million means that Maryland will be receiving $33.1 million from the State Opioid Response program during the fiscal year — about the same as it received the previous year, according to the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat.

Van Hollen and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, also a Democrat, said they have been seeking to increase funding for opioid prevention, treatment and recovery. Through the first half of 2018, Maryland recorded 1,185 opioid-related overdose deaths — 15 percent more than the same period last year.

Funding for the federal program is based on a formula that seeks to assess unmet treatment needs.

In the just-announced grants, California led with $36.4 million and Ohio and Pennsylvania got $29.1 million each.

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