ADDRESSING OPIOID PROBLEMS: A task force named by Gov. Larry Hogan to address Maryland's heroin overdose problem concluded its work Tuesday by recommending expanded access to treatment, tighter monitoring of prescription drugs and greater focus on groups like inmates and ex-offenders, reports Jean Marbella for the Sun.
- Opioid-related deaths have skyrocketed in recent years, fueled by addictions to powerful pain medications and a growing use of heroin, writes Josh Hicks for the Post. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford, who leads the task force, said in a statement Tuesday that heroin and opioid abuse is "an issue that transcends race, socio-economic status, age and any other demographic."
- Douglass Mayer, a Hogan spokesman, said some of the recommendations could be implemented at the state agency level. Others that might need approval of the General Assembly could become part of Hogan's legislative package, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record.
- The editorial board for the Frederick News Post opines that Harford County has a serious problem with heroin abuse. In an attempt to address that situation, last week a contingent of law enforcement agencies set up a series of "heroin checkpoints" on major Harford roads and in areas known for drug trafficking and driving under the influence of drugs. The editorial board questions the very public show of official concern for that county's heroin problems. It also runs counter to a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that addressed the constitutionality of police checkpoints.