Drug Policy Center's Jeff Beeson: We Are Making Strides in Battling Opioid Crisis in Maryland
October 17, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Jeff Beeson, deputy director of the Center for Drug Policy and Enforcement in the University of Baltimore's College of Public Affairs, writes in a letter to The Baltimore Sun that the state is making progress in battling Maryland's opioid addiction and overdose crisis. While the crisis has not abated, Beeson says, a system is now in place to address the crisis from both public health and law enforcement angles.
"Real strides have been made in Maryland to address opioids, especially on the supply side of the drug trade in our state," Beeson writes. "The Hogan administration understands that data and information sharing are vital in combating this crisis. It has invested millions to link up state resources and highlight opportunities to share information."
Beeson says that the state's designation of the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, housed within the Center for Drug Policy and Enforcement at UB, allows Maryland to gather and share data on drugs and overdoses. Also, Gov. Larry Hogan signed the Overdose Data Reporting Act, which allows emergency medical service providers and law enforcement to track overdoses in real time.
Technology also plays a critical role in these efforts, he notes:
"The Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program or ODMAP is a critical tool developed at the University of Baltimore. This technology provides key data to pinpoint intervention efforts either to address patterns of drug trafficking organizations or to respond to an opioid overdose uptick in a specific area. The goal of ODMAP is a better deployment of resources to combat greater quantities of drugs or an increased level of lethality in our communities."
Read Beeson's letter in The Baltimore Sun.