Bills to Watch
NCADD-Maryland tracks the legislature and creates a list of all bills that could impact our community with regard to Addiction Treatment or Prevention. Our list helps our collaborators and community understand new legislation within in our state and partake in their debate and approval.
The next legislative session starts January 11th 2023 but we already have some information in our current list of Bills to Watch.
In 2014, Maryland enacted a Good Samaritan Law to encourage people to call for help when someone is facing a medical emergency due to drugs or alcohol. While well intended, this law is limited in scope and the threat of criminal penalties continues to instill fear in individuals at the scene of an overdose, hindering them from calling for help. The subsequent rise in overdose deaths in the years that followed is proof positive that the 2014 law did not go far enough. It’s clear more action must be taken to curb this devastating overdose epidemic.
Good Samaritan laws have been proven to save lives. Maryland is one of 47 other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted some form of a Good Samaritan or 9-1-1 drug immunity law. A 2020 study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found a nationwide pattern of loer opioid-related overdose death rates among states that have enacted Good Samaritan laws, both compared to death rates prior to a law’s enactment and death rates in states without such laws. Studies also found that people are more likely to call 911 if they are aware of the laws.
NCADD-MD supports legislation to establish Overdose Prevention Sites (OPS), in Maryland, where people may consume previously obtained drugs in a hygienic, monitored environment without fear of arrest.
The Mental Health Parity And Addiction Equity Act (Parity Act /2009) requires most health insurance plans and Medicaid programs to provide the same level of coverage for MH/SUD care as they do for medical care. NCADD-Maryland supports
- The Maryland Parity Coalition’s efforts to ensure private insurance carriers and Maryland’s Medicaid program comply with the federal Parity Act;
- The implementation by the Maryland Insurance Administration of the 2020 legislation that mandates Parity compliance reporting among commercial insurance company and network adequacy regulations ;
- Efforts to bring Maryland Medicaid into compliance with the Parity Act;
- Efforts to establish a statewide consumer assistance/ombudsman program
NCADD-Maryland supports legislation to legalize adult recreational use of cannabis, measures that address a range of public health concerns, and a reinvestment of revenue generated into public health services and communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.