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Safe Stations – Anne Arundel County

With the opioid epidemic continuing at a crisis level, law enforcement and emergency medical services providers encounter more and more cases of overdoses. To ease the burden on first responders in Anne Arundel County, the Safe Stations program was created to facilitate the process for anyone with substance abuse disorder seeking help to receive a referral into treatment. The goal of Safe Stations is to provide easy access points for individuals seeking help and treatment throughout the county.

The Safe Stations program is a not-for-profit organization under contract with Anne Arundel County Crisis Response team, part of the Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency, Inc. At any time, day or night, if a resident of Annapolis or Anne Arundel County who has substance abuse disorder decides they want help, they can go to Anne Arundel or Annapolis Police Departments or Fire Stations, and speak to the personnel on duty.

Safe Stations is a successful collaboration between many different agencies. The Anne Arundel County and Annapolis City Fire Departments provide locations for citizens to seek help, and currently 38 locations participate in this program. If someone enters the Safe Station with a substance in their possession, the Fire Station will remove it and hand it over to the police station. The Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office works with the criminal justice system to void any outstanding warrants that an individual may have so they can be referred to a treatment program before they stand trial.

A new initiative for Anne Arundel County, Safe Stations has had a positive impact. Since August of this year, there have been 159 Safe Station cases. Highlights of the success of this program include:

  • There was a 24-hour period in June when the county did not experience any opioid overdoses.
  • There was a weekend in July where the number of Safe Station cases outnumbered opioid overdoses.
  • There was a 30-day period in July into August when the county experienced the first year to year drop in the number of overdoses in more than three years.

On the very first day after the program was announced, Safe Stations received their first patient who is moving forward in her rehabilitation and receiving the help she needs. The overall success rate (people who come to a Safe Station who move on to get treatment) to date of the program is 58 percent (78/159).

Interested in learning more about the program? Contact:
Captain Russell E. Davies, Jr.
Public Information Officer
Anne Arundel County Fire Department
8501 Veterans Highway
Millersville, MD 21108