At the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) on Wednesday, March 1, Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the rapid escalation of the heroin and opioid crisis in Maryland. With deaths doubling since last year involving these drugs, Governor Hogan considered the heroin and opioid epidemic to be a natural disaster.
"With this continuing threat increasing at such an alarming rate, we must allow for rapid coordination with our state and local emergency teams," Hogan said. The Governor issued the state of emergency mainly to cut through red tape to give local emergency agencies more flexibility for prevention, treatment and enforcement efforts.
The State of Emergency will assist the efforts of Maryland’s Lt. Governor, Boyd Rutherford, as he heads the governor’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force. Governor Hogan pledged an additional $50 million in State funding and continues to seek federal funds. Clay Stamp, Former MEMA Director who will lead the emergency coordination around the state said, "We have people dying every day in this state right now. (There's) probably no more important endeavor that I've been involved in my career in emergency management than what we're facing."
To view Governor Hogan's announcement on WBAL, click here.