As originally reported in the Washington Post, the Governor's visit is only meant to address the Opiate Overdose Plan and not the recent findings of the HRIA Study of Cecil County's Drug Abuse Issues. However, I have insisted that the discussion be on the drug abuse issues as a whole and how the State has the potential to effect positive change in Cecil County and throughout the State.
At my request, Stephanie Garrity, Director of the Cecil County Health Department, organized a meeting with State Representatives on July 22 to address proposed changes to State Comar regulations for drug treatment clinics as well as to discuss other related concerns. Below is my follow up email sent to the State representatives to request confirmation on the issues the State would agree to follow up on. It was sent July 28th and Stephanie Garrity has replied and agreed the summary was fairly accurate. I am still awaiting a response from the State.
I also wanted to thank you for coming all the way to Cecil County to address our concerns. I agree that it was a positive meeting and I walked away with a sense that the State wanted to close up the "gaps" in our ability to address drug abuse in Cecil County.
Regarding our request for changes to the AELR Committee, can you please forward the new State Comar Regulations for urine testing standards at drug treatment clinics which Dr. Franklin had referred? I wanted to make sure the new regulations already addressed our concerns.
Also, from my recollection (which is not always the best), items the State agreed to discuss further included:
1. Review of the Drug Treatment facilities in the County:
a. To review if treatment services are being unbundled and selectively administered.
b. Review of client counseling records to insure a realistic plan is developed, followed and assessed.
c. To insure Methadone is being used as only part of a Opiate Level I Treatment Plan and includes the
required counseling with a realistic plan for recovery addressing the reasons for the client's drug
abuse.(ex. Dr. Stoller's Drug Treatment Program)
2. Review how to remove a major source of drug abuse, Doctors over prescribing narcotics:
a. Inform public on how to effectively file complaints with the State providing a timely response.
b. Intervene in a timely manner to pull State Medical and CDS dispensing licenses and schedule
emergency hearings because they are a threat to public safety.
c. Insure Maryland Board of Physicians is reporting on website in a timely manner (1 week?) of
Doctor's charges and convictions.
d. Make it mandatory for doctors to disclose risk of addiction in using narcotics for pain management
and to provide non narcotic options.
3. Realistically measure success:
a. Put into place an effective Drug Treatment State Stat that measures success on relevant criteria:
employment history, # of clean urine tests, attendance for treatment, discharged after completing
program, reduction or elimination of methadone.
b. Results reviewed in a timely manner and any weaknesses in the treatment identified and addressed
with new plans and cont'd review.
c. Results published for the public to review.
4. First steps in establishing a detox facility in the County.
5. Prescription Drug Monitoring Program:
a. August 20 target date - State Stat criteria identified to measure success and improve performance
b. Check with Governor for support of Federal legislation to make it mandatory for adjoining states to
share PDMP information.
c. Eventually make it mandatory for Pharmacists and Doctors to use.
If this list needs to be corrected, please let me know. Thanks again and I look forward to continuing our discussion in the near future.
Cecil County Council, District 4
200 Chesapeake Blvd., Suite 2100
Elkton, Maryland 21921