The Kittleman Administration
Tackles Opioid Addiction in Howard County
The opioid crisis is one of the most daunting challenges our nation faces today. This crisis has impacted every jurisdiction across the country and calls for varied, comprehensive and innovative solutions.
County Executive Allan H. Kittleman’s administration has taken a multi-tiered approach to address this critical problem.
Tackling the Tough Issues: Opioid Addiction in Howard County
Under County Executive Kittleman’s leadership, Howard County has added walk-in screening and referral services seven-days-a-week at the Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center and funded new positions, hiring an opioid coordinator at the Police Department and opioid project manager at the Health Department.
Kittleman’s administration partnered with Aetna Foundation to have naloxone available in all county buildings and have trained employees in how to administer it. Earlier this year, the county launched a new opioid prevention website, HoCoOpioidHelp.com, providing access to information about prevention, treatment and recovery from agencies across the county and state.
The county needs a complete system of care ranging from crisis services to treatment options (in-patient and out-patient) to ongoing recovery services. Allan Kittleman’s administration’s efforts over the past year have focused on filling gaps that were identified in the current system of care.
The following outlines the continued steps County Executive Allan Kittleman is taking to tackle this health and public safety crisis.
Kittleman Invests in Crisis Services
Walk-in crisis services are now available at Grassroots so individuals can get screened and referred to treatment.
The county continues to work with Howard County General Hospital and the Health Department to help individuals in crisis find appropriate treatment options. Kittleman’s administration funded treatment navigation services in both the Health Department and Howard County General Hospital.
Efforts are ongoing to establish a 24/7 crisis stabilization center where individuals who arrive at the center can be assessed and recommended for care.
The county is envisioning a facility to accommodate approximately 10 to 15 stations for individuals walking in to receive crisis services.
Howard County has significantly increased the number of outpatient providers serving individuals with substance use disorder. Currently, Howard County has 13 outpatient treatment providers serving residents, with additional leads for providers being pursued.
The Kittleman Administration is pursuing an appropriate location for an inpatient facility, as well as continuing to work with private providers, neighboring jurisdictions, and the state’s Department of Health to identify additional locations for treatment beds.
Discussions are ongoing and are producing promising leads. Concurrently, the county is engaged in ongoing discussions with neighboring jurisdictions to collaborate in providing regional treatment services.
The Kittleman Administration is expanding treatment and recovery options
In 2018, Allan Kittleman significantly increased the Community Service Partnership grant for Living in Recovery, a community partner that provides recovery housing for residents impacted by this crisis.
Additionally, Howard County will relocate its clinically managed low-intensity, residential facility for men to a permanent home in January 2019.
A More Effective and Responsive Health Department
The Health Department's support for residents with substance use disorders and for the prevention of substance misuse by youth and residents with chronic pain includes:
- Assistance for 40 residents to live in certified supportive housing as they continue their recovery;
- Education and training to help 20 individuals become master leaders to facilitate chronic disease management programs, including chronic pain self-management. Once trained, these leaders can offer evidenced-based chronic pain self-management classes for up to 20 individuals with chronic pain. Up to 1,000 individuals per year will be able to participate, helping to prevent opioid misuse;
- Education and training to continue offering Guiding Good Choices. This program is family-centered and teaches parents of children ages 9-14 how to reduce the risk that their children will develop problems associated with drug use. Instructors will deliver 10 cycles with 10 workshop sessions in each cycle to as many as 500 individuals.
Kittleman Funds Heroin Coordinator Position at HCPD
An opioid coordinator at the Police Department and opioid project manager at the Health Department have been hired.
Partnering with Aetna Foundation, naloxone is now available in all county buildings and employees have been trained in how to administer it.