WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A group of lawmakers announced nearly $55.4 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan to expand access to mental health services and substance abuse treatment programs across Maryland.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented so many uncertainties for individuals, families and communities. People have suffered immeasurable challenges from the loss of their livelihoods to the loss of loved ones,” the lawmakers said. “During this time, we’ve also seen an alarming and dangerous increase in opioid and fentanyl overdoses. These tragedies underscore the importance of establishing equitable access to behavioral health services across our state.”

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The lawmakers also added, “This robust round of federal funding will provide Marylanders with critical mental health resources and bolster ongoing efforts to address substance use disorders. We remain committed to securing additional resources to build our public health infrastructure so we can better support individuals coping with mental illness and addiction.”

In Maryland, there has been an 18.7 percent increase in overdoses with a 90 percent opioid detection in those cases. These are the highest rates recorded data.

The $55,397,277 in funding comes from the American Rescue Plan and is directed to the following agencies and programs:

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• $27,809,755 for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene through the Mental Health Services Block Grant Program

• $27,587,522 for the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration through the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Program

 

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CBS Baltimore Staff