By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland lawmakers highlighted a new package of bills passed by the U.S. House of Representatives aimed to tackle the heroin epidemic.

Alex DeMetrick has a closer look.

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Heroin overdoses killed three people in Harford County in just 19 hours this past Saturday.

In Baltimore nearly every day one resident in our city dies because of an overdose, official say.

It’s called the “opioid epidemic,” often starting with pain medication before moving on to cheaper, and easier to come by, heroin.

The rise in overdoses and addiction have Congress’s attention.

Three of Maryland’s representatives outlined new legislation passed by the house, including 17 bipartisan bills, ranging from changes for prescription pain treatment, to programs to reduce the number of overdoses.

Nearly all of which come with zero dollars for funding.

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“If you don’t have any money, or you don’t have enough money, you’re just basically going through a feel good exercise,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.

The president has requested $1.2 billion from Congress.  If it should somehow come through, Baltimore knows how it will spend its share.

“Now we need to connect people into treatment at the times they overdose. At the time they are seeking out help. That is what funding is going to be used for,” said Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore Health Commissioner.

Baltimore has found funds to increase training and use of drugs that can reverse an overdose, but there are only a few treatment centers.

“Everybody needs to know there is hope. There’s somewhere for them to go and there’s people that care,” said Darrell Hodge, who lives in Baltimore.

“If we don’t get funding for treatment, all we’re doing is treading water,” said Wen.

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Despite a closed checkbook right now, backs of opioid legislation think public pressure will eventually produce funding.