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Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Announces Opioid and Substance Use Grant Awards for FY 2021

For immediate release: August 24, 2020

Opioid Operational Command Center Distributes $9.6M in Total Funding to Programs Addressing the Greatest Needs in Each Jurisdiction

Annapolis, MD – Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford announced today that Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center, in coordination with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, is distributing nearly $10 million in grants for fiscal year 2021 to fight the opioid and substance use crisis.  

“Addressing the opioid and substance use crisis in Maryland remains one of our highest priorities,” said Rutherford. “As long as this crisis poses a threat to Marylanders, we will persist in our efforts to eradicate it. I want to make it very clear that we have remained focused on this issue in spite of the country’s other public health challenges, and we will continue to devote the resources required to bring it under control.”

The funding for fiscal year 2021 is part of a $50 million, five-year commitment that the Hogan-Rutherford administration announced in 2017.

“Maryland’s sustained commitment to addressing the opioid and substance use crisis is more important now than it has been ever before,” said Executive Director Steve Schuh of the OOCC. “In a challenging environment, these grants are among the most powerful tools at our disposal. They allow the state to provide direct and focused support to the programs in each jurisdiction that will benefit the most.”

“We have passionate individuals working on the opioid and substance use crisis in every corner of Maryland,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert R. Neall. “Our success in tackling this problem depends on our ability to support these individuals and their local networks. The OOCC’s grant awards provide exactly the type of support that is required to empower those who know best what their communities need.”

The fiscal year 2021 grant distributions include:

  • $5.6 million in competitive grants to fight the opioid and substance use crisis through the highest-scoring programs that align with the OOCC’s mission and that meet the most pressing needs around the state; and
  • $4.0 million in block grants distributed among the Opioid Intervention Teams (OITs) in each of the state’s 24 local jurisdictions to fight the crisis in ways that best meet their own needs.

FY21 Competitive Grants Program Awards

The purpose of the Competitive Grant Program is to distribute grant funding to the highest-scoring proposals received from state and local government agencies and from private, community-based partners. Programming that qualifies for the Competitive Grant Program represents Governor Hogan’s policy priority areas of Prevention & Education, Enforcement & Public Safety, and Treatment & Recovery.

Prevention & Education

  • $32,000 to provide drug prevention curricula for over 18,000 D.A.R.E. students in 16 jurisdictions across the state.
  • $107,400 to develop a communications plan to be used by health care providers across the state to address education and enforcement of prescribing and dispensing of controlled dangerous substances.
  • $298,700 to continue to provide training and mentorship in a stress- and trauma-relief model to educators, healthcare workers, and addiction and detention programs across Allegany County.
  • $26,400 to support prevention programming for youth in Baltimore City.
  • $150,000 to provide harm reduction-based case management services for individuals with substance use disorder in Baltimore City and assistance in accessing healthcare and social services through street-based outreach.
  • $195,000 to support a drop-in center and outreach program offering a variety of services, including harm reduction tools and prevention education to women who use drugs in southwest Baltimore City.
  • $57,300 to support substance abuse prevention groups in the Calvert County public school system.
  • $85,000 to provide prevention-focused programming at Sykesville Middle School in Carroll County.
  • $108,000 to support Carroll County Public Schools’ opioid abuse prevention project involving a partnership with the Carroll County Health Department and Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office.
  • $8,000 to support the Lower Shore Addiction Awareness Visual Arts Competition in Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties.
  • $183,700 to support the legal needs of children and families impacted by the opioid crisis on the Eastern Shore, specifically by assisting caregivers whose parents are unable to care for them as a result of the opioid crisis.
  • $58,800 for parenting and family training sessions in Harford County to increase resilience and reduce risk factors.
  • $128,800 to support prevention-focused programming in Queen Anne’s County’s public schools.
  • $61,700 to provide a licensed social worker for students in three Talbot County elementary schools.
  • $61,700 to provide an Addictions, Education, Prevention & Intervention Specialist for middle and high school students in Talbot County.
  • $61,700 to provide a licensed social worker for students in the Bay Hundred area of Talbot County.
  • $86,600 to support Washington Goes Purple activities to increase awareness of opioid addiction and to encourage students to get and stay involved in school.
  • $65,500 to support Worcester Goes Purple awareness campaign.
  • $96,400 for a peer support program for first responders in Worcester County.

Enforcement & Public Safety

  • $479,800 to increase monitoring and regulatory oversight of controlled substance prescribers and dispensers across the state.
  • $30,000 to support the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Day Reporting Center, which provides a minimum-security alternative to incarceration that combines community supervision, intensive treatment for substance use disorders and intensive case management for offenders.
  • $33,900 to purchase a narcotics analyzer for the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force to assist in identifying illicit substances and keep law enforcement safe.

Treatment & Recovery

  • $200,000 to implement SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment) into primary care practices across the state.
  • $203,700 to support increased access to comprehensive health care services for individuals with substance use disorder by establishing telemedicine at harm reduction programs across the state.
  • $270,700 to provide assistance to outpatient mental health clinics across the state as they expand to become comprehensive crisis stabilization centers.
  • $125,400 to assist individuals in Allegany County who are in need of continued substance recovery support as they transition to employment by providing pre-employment and job placement services.
  • $8,000 to train incarcerated women as certified peer recovery specialists in Anne Arundel County.
  • $250,200 to support the expansion of WellMobile services to the Annapolis area and provide a low-threshold model of buprenorphine and treatment support services.
  • $179,100 to improve quality of behavioral health treatment provided to vulnerable, low-income individuals with opioid use disorder in Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City.
  • $205,400 to increase access to treatment and recovery services for individuals with opioid use disorders who present at the Anne Arundel Medical Center emergency department.
  • $69,900 to support peer recovery advocates to assist individuals in southwest Baltimore City by reducing barriers to substance use treatment, ensuring wrap-around case management and health services and preparing/motivating individuals to be admitted to treatment.
  • $116,500 to support a recovery center in Baltimore City for individuals to receive referrals to treatment programs and to medical/mental health treatment, housing and employment assistance.
  • $144,900 to provide family peer support and navigation services for individuals who care for someone with substance use disorder in Baltimore City and on the Eastern Shore.
  • $73,000 to support MAT services at Baltimore County’s detention center.
  • $143,800 to support medication assisted treatment (MAT) services for individuals with substance use disorder at county health centers in Baltimore County.
  • $465,200 to support the creation of an addictions clinic in Baltimore County to service individuals with co-occurring addiction and mental health needs.
  • $21,500 to provide behavioral health services for students in Calvert County’s public schools who are uninsured, under insured, or cost-prohibited.
  • $41,200 to expand peer recovery support services at Calvert County’s drug court.
  • $9,300 to provide clinical trauma training to Caroline County behavioral health staff.
  • $10,000 to support children and adults in Caroline County who lack sufficient insurance to receive mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
  • $49,900 to provide support to individuals requiring outpatient substance use disorder treatment upon release from the Caroline County’s detention center.
  • $178,700 to support a behavioral health coordinator, youth outreach coordinator, and two Safe Stations sites on the Eastern Shore.
  • $102,500 to support outreach efforts in Frederick County for overdose survivors and their families for service connection.
  • $143,200 to support peer recovery specialists to work alongside of EMS for overdose or substance use calls in Harford County.
  • $181,500 to provide peer recovery support personnel at UM Harford Memorial Hospital, UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, and UM Harford Crisis Center to assist in screening, intervention, and links to treatment.

FY21 Block Grant Program Allocations

The purpose of the Block Grant Program is to provide a base level of funding to each of Maryland’s 24 local jurisdictions in order to combat the opioid crisis. The Block Grant Program is formula based, with half of the funds allocated by population and the other half allocated according to local fatality rates. Each jurisdiction determines how to use its allocation to best meet its own needs in fighting the opioid and substance use crisis. For FY21, a total of $4.0 million will be distributed through the Block Grant Program.

Local health officers from across the state offered their thanks for Block Grant Program awards:

“As a result of the Calvert County Health Department’s partnership with the OOCC, we have been able to launch a program for behavioral health professionals to respond, along with EMS, to the scene of non-fatal overdoses. Grant funding allows the health department to provide immediate access to behavioral health providers and peer support. Those with opioid dependence now have seven-day-per-week support and are more likely to engage in follow-up care. We have seen a marked decrease in overdose deaths since the start of this program,” said Dr. Laurence Polsky, health officer for Calvert County.

“The Dorchester County Health Department and the many community partners that are vested in conquering the opioid crisis are thankful for this funding. The funding will bolster our work to combat opioids’ impacts and substance use disorder,” added Dorchester County Health Officer Roger Harrell.

Frederick County continues to utilize innovative ways to address the behavioral health needs of our jurisdiction. Our OIT funding partnership with the OOCC allows us to achieve our shared goals of reducing barriers by meeting consumers where they are in both their paths to recovery and physical environments by utilizing a community-wide, peer-based approach,” said Dr. Barbara Brookmyer, health officer for Frederick County.

Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens said, “The resources provided to our local OIT are needed now more than ever. Our community has experienced an increase in the number of overdoses since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding from the OOCC Block Grant Program allows our local team to address the opioid epidemic thorough community-driven initiatives.”



  • Support law enforcement interdiction operations.
  • Support peer recovery services.
  • Increase availability of naloxone for first responders.
Anne Arundel:


  • Expand telehealth services for buprenorphine induction.
  • Continued support for Safe Stations.
  • Support for community and faith-based organizations.
Baltimore City:


  • Provide integrated healthcare services for people who use drugs, including buprenorphine/naloxone therapy.
  • Support access to harm-reduction materials and community-outreach activities.
  • Support treatment program for access to medication assisted treatment with a focus on buprenorphine.
Baltimore County:


  • Continued support for peer recovery services.


  • Support access to substance abuse treatment and medication assisted treatment.
  • Provide peer recovery support in the local emergency department.
  • Support medication assisted treatment coordinator.
  • Increase community awareness.


  • Support physician recruitment and retention at Caroline County Behavioral Health.


  • Continue mobile crisis services.


  • Support youth risk-prevention program.
  • Provide transportation assistance to those in treatment and recovery.
  • Support Drug Free Cecil – Youth Leadership Project.
  • Expand peer recovery specialist services in the community.


  • Support OIT coordination.
  • Support community outreach and education events.
  • Expand peer recovery support services.
  • Support targeted public awareness materials.
  • Support and facilitate outreach and public-awareness events.


  • Continued support for drug-free fun and structured youth and young adult activities.
  • Support peer recovery services.
  • Support SBIRT (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment) services.


  • Expand peer recovery support services.


  • Support Community Resource Team to provide a bridge between identified potential clients and opioid-addiction services.
  • Support drug prevention and education program in schools.
  • Support OIT coordination.


  • Support a central intake, navigation, and recovery team to enhance early identification and interaction for those with substance-use disorder.


  • Support SBIRT (screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment) services and connection to treatment providers.


  • Support peer recovery support services.


  • Support public-awareness campaigns.
  • Support community forums on opioid and substance misuse.
  • Continue to increase community and police access to naloxone.
  • Continued support for Stop Triage Engage Educate Rehabilitate (STEER).
  • Develop a centralized database for treatment and peer support services.
Prince George’s:


  • Support public-awareness campaigns, overdose coordinator, and the purchase of medical supplies.


Queen Anne’s:


  • Support peer support services, medication assisted treatment, the purchase of naloxone.
  • Support Queen Anne’s Go Purple Campaign.


  • Expand law enforcement support to increase information sharing.
  • Support peer recovery support specialist.
  • Promote Somerset County Opioid United Team (SCOUT) initiative.
St. Mary’s:


  • Support peer recovery support specialist.
  • Support OIT coordination.


  • Support substance use case manager at community health center.
  • Support social services for children from families impacted by opioid use.


  • Continued support of opioid crisis response team.
  • Support Washington Goes Purple, which educates youth and community about the dangers of prescription pain medication.


  • Support heroin and opioid coordinator.
  • Support First Responder’s Appreciation Dinner.
  • Support education and prevention campaign.
  • Support Wicomico County Goes Purple campaign.


  • Support peer recovery specialist assignment in hospital ER.

Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to the opioid crisis and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, enforcement, and treatment. Marylanders struggling with a substance use disorder can find help at; through our state’s crisis hotline, Call 211, Press 1; or by texting their ZIP code to 898-211.