The opioid epidemic has hit Anne Arundel County particularly hard, affecting every demographic. Drug overdoses are now responsible for far more deaths in Maryland than homicides and auto accidents.
While officials are working to combat the epidemic, coordinating resources has proved difficult. Often the task is beyond the capabilities of local government. Facing Addiction, a national grassroots-driven nonprofit organization aims to change that.
Facing Addiction Is Stepping in to Help
Addiction currently affects more than 45 million citizens and their families across the U.S. Facing Addiction has selected 15 communities from 50 applicants from across the U.S. for a project to reform public response to the addiction crisis.
Anne Arundel has been chosen as one of these communities. Facing Addiction will work with local community members and organizations to drive a health-centered response to those struggling with addiction.
The Goals of Facing Addiction
Facing Addiction will work with the Anne Arundel community to provide guidance and resources to combat the addiction epidemic. Facing Addiction’s goals include:
- Obtain local funding increases
- Inspire press coverage to bring attention to the addiction crisis
- Communicate with elected officials and policy makers
- Develop a political campaign strategy to empower community stakeholders
- Reform community response by training advocates in organizational and advocacy techniques
This pilot program in Anne Arundel will be the basis for a national coalition that will give a voice to those affected by addiction. With the death toll rising at alarming rates, this assistance cannot come soon enough.
Opioid addiction is a dangerous problem affecting more people every day, and if nothing is done to stop it, the numbers are likely to grow.
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Dr. Bhalavat is Board Certified in General Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, and provides inpatient evaluation and consultation services at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital, Maryland Recovery Partners, and Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Bhalavat’s background includes treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, substance abuse and dementia.