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Maryland's opioid problem on view in television special

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Maryland Public Television (MPT) will broadcast the program Fighting Opioids Today: Maryland Communities on MPT-HD on Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the statewide public TV network’s annual Addiction & Recovery slate of programs. The film is a production of MPT in association with the Opioid Operational Command Center and the Maryland Department of Health’s Behavioral Health Administration.

In a state where approximately six people die each day from opioid overdoses, the program provides insights into how Maryland healthcare providers, treatment programs, law enforcement, fire departments, and state and local government agencies are taking bold steps to address this public health crisis. A 30-second preview can be viewed at this link.

The half-hour program tells compelling stories of hope, resilience, healing, and recovery from across Maryland highlighting the growing number of resources available to individuals and families affected by opioid addiction. Among these stories, the film introduces viewers to people on the front lines of efforts to address the problem. Fighting Opioids Today: Maryland Communities shares the experiences of:

  • a mother from Kent County, now a family peer support specialist, who is turning the personal anguish of losing her son to addiction into positive action
  • a dedicated Baltimore City police officer, who lost a brother to addiction, addressing the heroin/ opioid addiction crisis in the city through the new Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program
  • individuals in recovery with the help of a peer recovery coach at Medstar Franklin Medical Center in Baltimore County
  • firefighters in Anne Arundel County; people can go to county fire houses to seek treatment for substance use disorder
  • a counselor and peer recovery coach at the Harford County Health Department assisting men and women in recovery
  • “As the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to ravage our state, there are also signs of encouragement,” said Steve Schuh, executive director of the Opioid Operational Command Center. “Fighting Opioids Today reminds us that all of our communities are working together to fight this crisis and to save the lives of Marylanders.”

Schuh was appointed executive director in December, following the departure of Clay Stamp.

Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to this epidemic and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery. Marylanders grappling with a substance use disorder can find help at BeforeItsTooLateMD.org or by calling 211 and pressing 1. Individuals also can call 211 and press 1 or text their zip code to 898-211 to speak with knowledgeable crisis call specialists.

For MPT’s full program lineup, visit mpt.org/schedule/ or use this link to download a digital version of the February Program Guide.

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