2023 Public Policy Agenda
A new Administration in the State House and dozens of new members of the Maryland General Assembly mean tremendous opportunities to make more progress in the hard work to prevent addictions, help people access treatment, reverse opioid overdose death trends, and support people in recovery.
Funding and Access to Care
NCADD-Maryland will support efforts to increase public investment in substance use disorder treatment, prevention and recovery support services in the FY 2024 State budget. Efforts to add greater flexibility in reimbursement methods as proposed by the Behavior Health Coalition will also be supported.
- Make permanent the allowance for the use of both video and audio-only telehealth and maintain payment parity between virtual and in-person delivery of health services
- Fund local, community-based programs that provide non-treatment interventions to address opioid overdoses and ensure meaningful involvement of the Opioid Restitution Fund Advisory Council in determining direction of funding investments
- Advocate for a continuum of care for young people including residential SUD treatment for adolescents, case management, and wrap-around services
- Mitigate the impact of the failed public behavioral health administrative service organization on treatment programs
- Support efforts led by the Behavioral Health Coalition to require the State to pursue implementation of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics and Collaborative Care models
- Support efforts to sustain funding for the 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline
NCADD-Maryland will work to significantly strengthen the state’s recovery support system.
- Work with the new Administration to develop a statewide recovery services plan
- Invest in recovery supports not reimbursed by Medicaid, including recovery residences, crisis services, and peer recovery specialists
- Expand the types of programs that employ Certified Peer Recovery Specialists that can bill Medicaid for reimbursement
- Invest heavily in more affordable housing throughout the state
Planning & Technology
- Use overdose death data to better identify where in the state harm reduction and treatment/recovery support services are needed
- Use race and ethnicity data to address the growing disparities in overdose deaths and more limited access to medication for OUD in communities of color in Maryland
- Expand Medicaid benefit to cover the use of digital therapeutics used in treatment of substance use and mental health disorders
Harm Reduction and Decriminalization
NCADD-Maryland will support a number of harm reduction strategies that assist individuals who use substances to be safer and to make organizations and systems less harmful. Overdose deaths are increasing, and data shows a significant increase in overdose fatalities among Black Marylanders. NCADD-Maryland will support policy and funding proposals that are aimed at addressing inequities will be supported, and all proposals will be examined through a racial equity lens.
- Create overdose prevention sites in Baltimore City and other places in Maryland where people are dying of overdoses
- Decriminalize personal use amounts of currently illegal drugs [and paraphernalia]
- Continue to appropriately decrease police presence in behavioral health crisis situations
NCADD-Maryland will continue to support the Maryland Parity Coalition’s efforts to ensure private insurance carriers and Maryland’s Medicaid program comply with the federal Parity Act..
- Create a Consumer Health Access Program that provides hands-on assistance to consumers and family members it utilizing their insurance to access the appropriate level of SUD and/or mental health services
- Ensure commercial insurance carriers and Maryland Medicaid comply with the Parity Act
Reject all proposals that perpetuate the stigma against people with substance use and mental health disorders, oppose quality treatment programs in the community, and restrict people’s choices regarding the kind of clinical treatment they choose, including treatment assisted with all medications
Ensure resources and policies are in place to prevent and treat people with gambling problems, including with expanded sports wagering opportunities.
In the implementation of legalizing adult recreational use of cannabis, ensure measures are in place that address a range of public health concerns, and reinvest revenue generated from legalization into public health services and communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.