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Howard House to fight opioid epidemic

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Howard County has opened Howard House, the new 16-bed treatment facility for substance use disorders, including opioid addiction. The mission is to provide a natural, safe, and supportive setting for beginning a structured progression toward a sober lifestyle.

“Since 2016, over 130 people have died in Howard County from the totally preventable cause of opioid overdose. This fact is tragic, it is painful, and it is unacceptable,” said Howard County Executive Ball. “That is why we are treating this problem like the public health crisis that it is … we open Howard House to provide a safe and healing place right here in Howard County.”

The Howard County Government funded the remodeled new Howard House on Route 108, a location that is owned by the Department of Recreation & Parks. At Howard House, clients will receive step-down care, including peer support, case management services, therapeutic behavioral health sessions, skill building and other outpatient treatment and supportive care.

With the goal of proving the full continuum of care to those in need, Ball also announced a comprehensive vision for fighting the opioid epidemic in Howard County, including:

● Establishing a 24/7 crisis support hotline at Grassroots

● Building a new, residential treatment center through a partnership with Delphi Behavioral Health Group. The center will serve women and men of all income levels to help them move toward full recovery. Ball has committed $3 million over four years to form this first-of-its-kind partnership in the state between a local jurisdiction and a private treatment provider

● Continuing proper emergency room referrals to peer recovery specialists

● Funding for behavioral health navigators at both the hospital and Health Department

● Continuing to support naloxone training and distribution across the county. In addition, all fire stations are now available for safe prescription drug disposal

● Strengthening community partnerships with the Opioid Crisis Community Council, the Opioid Intervention Team, emergency responders, providers and most importantly friends and family