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Statement from Clay Stamp on Federal Efforts to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Recently, Clay Stamp, executive director of Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center, and Dr. Howard Haft, the Maryland Department of Health’s deputy secretary for Public Health, joined U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, federal partners, and representatives from other states for a roundtable discussion on the prevention of opioid abuse through states’ prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs). The roundtable, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coincided with the release of the Administration’s plan to combat the opioid crisis in America.

“This plan echoes how Maryland has been fighting the opioid epidemic since we declared a State of Emergency about a year ago. We’ve focused on a multi-pronged approach that includes education, prevention, enforcement, and expanding access to treatment. Recognizing that fentanyl has become the most deadly controlled dangerous substance in our state, we’ve asked the federal government to stop its flow into our state and our country,” said Clay Stamp. “It’s encouraging to see that there is increased attention from our federal partners on interdicting fentanyl and other opioids, as well as making sure first responders are supplied with naloxone, and support for key federal changes to expand access to treatment. Combating a crisis of this scale is going to require sufficient federal funding. We were pleased to see that funding for State Opioid Response Grants was tripled in the spending bill signed into law last week, and we are urging our federal partners to continue to prioritize new federal grant opportunities for states.”