BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Maryland’s opioid state of emergency gets added support from D.C. and Virginia.
Virginia’s governor and D.C.’s mayor have joined forces in the fight to prevent addiction.
Washington, Virginia and Maryland not only share a population, they share the opioid problem.
“We’re hitting it from every direction we possibly can. We have a state of emergency going on and it’s all hands on deck,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said.
“I’m happy the governor has now declared a state of emergency,” said Colleen Hosler, whose son Christopher died of a heroin overdose.
“Well it has completely shattered our family. My other son is now sitting in prison from drug-related charges he started after his brother passed away. We measure life now in before Chris and after Chris,” she said.
Maryland’s state of emergency started in March and since the area is composed of commuters and is a shared population, it’s a shared crisis covers the whole metropolitan area.
“1,100 Virginians lost their lives last year from all ages, all economic backgrounds and all walks of life,” said Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
“We have people who have family across our borders, who come to work everyday across our borders,” said D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser.
“We’re all trying these different things and yet it’s going up in every jurisdiction. You can’t just give up and say let the death rates escalate,” Hogan said.
The state of emergency empowers state and local emergency management officials to fast track coordination between agencies, community organizations and private sector and nonprofits.
“And we all have a role to play in that,” Bowser said.
“That’s why we’re trying to raise awareness with the federal government and getting everybody on the same page because this is something we’re going to deal with for a while and we have to get our arms around this problem,” Hogan said.
The strategies include education, treatment, and sharing information on opioid prescriptions to crack down on doctor shopping.
The opioid overdose death toll in Maryland was roughly 1200 last year.