Since before taking office and over the past four years, Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford have been committed to shining a spotlight on the heroin and opioid crisis and using every possible resource to develop solutions and ultimately save lives.
While running for office four years ago, the number one concern the governor and Lt. Governor heard from Marylanders across the state, whether in rural or urban areas, was that the heroin and opioid epidemic was tearing apart communities and families. After taking office, Governor Hogan took immediate action by establishing the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force.
The task force traveled across the state, gathering input from families, local law enforcement and government officials, and nonprofit organizations. The task force then developed and worked to implement 33 recommendations focused on prevention, enforcement, and treatment to aggressively combat the opioid and heroin crisis.
In March 2017, Governor Hogan was the first governor in the nation to declare a State of Emergency to provide all levels of state government the necessary legal authority to develop even more expansive measures to fight this crisis. Over the course of four years, Governor Hogan committed over $600 million towards wide-ranging prevention, enforcement, treatment, and education efforts, including activating the Opioid Operation Command Center (OOCC) to more rapidly coordinate between state and local agencies.
In coordination with the new OOCC, Governor Hogan and Lt. Governor Rutherford announced the launch of the “Before It’s Too Late” public awareness campaign, with comprehensive resources for Maryland families, educators, and healthcare professionals.
Governor Hogan has also taken this fight to the national stage through advocacy at the National Governors Association (NGA) and testifying before the U.S. Senate. Most recently, he joined Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat from Oregon, in calling on the federal government to increase enforcement efforts to stop the import of lethal synthetic opioids, and to provide more federal funding at the state and local level.