2024 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 strongly supports continuing investment in the public behavioral health system and access to care for all Marylanders. Specific priorities include:

  • Advocating for a significant investment in a robust continuum of care for youth to meet their substance use disorder and mental health needs
  • Securing ongoing requirement that provider reimbursement rates are increased annually in order to keep up with increasing costs and retain a high quality workforce
  • Expanding prevention efforts and overcoming stigma by allowing access to services to people without a clinical diagnosis
  • Supporting efforts to sustained funding for the 988 Behavioral Health Crisis Hotline
  • Continuing to advocate for transparency of and meaningful participation in funding decisions related to the Opioid Restitution Fund

Recovery Support

NCADD-Maryland understands that while treatment is an important tool in addressing someone’s substance use disorder or mental health need, ongoing recovery supports are essential to ensuring a person’s long-term recovery. Specific priorities include:

  • Working with the new Administration to develop a statewide recovery services plan, which includes how to better support Certified Peer Recovery Counselors and non-certified peers
  • Investing in recovery supports not reimbursed by Medicaid, including recovery community organizations, recovery residences, and all peer recovery specialists
  • Invest heavily in more affordable housing throughout the state

Harm Reduction and Decriminalization

NCADD-Maryland is a champion for an approach to drug addition that embraces a range of harm reduction strategies. Specific priorities include:

  • Creating overdose prevention sites in Baltimore City and other places in Maryland where people are dying of overdoses
  • Decriminalizing paraphernalia and personal use amounts of currently illegal drugs
  • Continuing to appropriately decrease police presence in behavioral health crisis situations
  • Continuing to expand access to overdose reversal drugs such as naloxone

Parity Compliance

NCADD-Maryland is an active member of the Maryland Parity Coalition and supports their work to ensure access to care. Specific priorities include:

  • Passing legislation that requires generally accepted standards of care are used by commercial insurance companies in determining access to mental health and substance use disorder services
  • Creating 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
  • Ensuring commercial insurance carriers and Maryland Medicaid comply with the Parity Act

Problem Gambling

NCADD-Maryland supports a public health approach to the state’s approach to addressing problem gambling. As efforts to continue expanding legal gaming continue, specific priorities include:

  • Creating a larger and more sustainable revenue stream from legal gaming into the Problem Gambling Fund
  • Opposing iGaming

Treatment Behind the Walls

NCADD-Maryland continues to work at the state and local levels to see that treatment for substance use disorders for people who are incarcerated is incorporated into the health services provided in jails and prisons. Specific priorities include:

  • Supporting efforts to continue implementation of treatment in local detention centers including access to medications for opioid use disorders
  • Supporting efforts by Maryland Medicaid to pursue a waiver to allow Medicaid benefits to start prior to a person’s release from incarceration
  • Supporting efforts to expand treatment, including access to medications for opioid use disorders, for people incarcerated in state prisons

Fighting Stigma & Discrimination

NCADD-Maryland understands that stigma remains one of the biggest barriers people with substance use disorders face when seeking treatment and being successful in their recovery. Specific priorities include:

  • Rejecting 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
  • Supporting efforts that protect the rights of people who have been incarcerated, including those that promote access to housing and employment

Planning & Technology

NCADD-Maryland believes Maryland has a robust data collection system regarding overdoses and those at risk of overdose. This data should be used to:

  • Better identify where in the state harm reduction and treatment/recovery support services are needed
  • Address the growing disparities in overdose deaths and more limited access to medication for OUD in communities of color in Maryland
  • NCADD-Maryland also supports the expansion of coverage for emerging technologies in treating behavioral health problems

Cannabis Legalization

In the implementation of legalizing adult recreational use of cannabis, NCADD-Maryland supports:

  • Ensuring 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
  • Limiting the potency of cannabis products and access to higher potency products

Contact Information

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence,
Maryland Chapter
28 East Ostend Street Suite 303
Baltimore, MD  21230
410-625-6482 (main)
410-625-6484 (fax)

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