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MEDIA ADVISORY FRIDAY: Cummings and Warren to Hold Roundtable with Baltimore Community Leaders on Efforts to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Jul 23, 2018
Press Release
Members Will Hold Press Avail After Forum

Washington, D.C. (July 23, 2018)—On Friday, July 27, 2018,  at 10 am, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Senator Elizabeth Warren will hold a roundtable with Members of Congress, Baltimore officials, and community representatives to discuss the challenges they face in combating the opioid epidemic and the urgent need for new resources to expand treatment.  

In Baltimore, there were 574 overdose deaths through the third quarter of 2017—compared to 496 during the same period in 2016.  According to the President’s Opioid Commission, nationwide only about 10% of individuals who need treatment for a substance use disorder are receiving that treatment. 

On April 18, 2018, Cummings and Warren introduced the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, H.R. 5545/S. 2700, to begin treating the opioid crisis like the critical public health emergency it is.  The CARE Act is modeled directly on the bipartisan Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which was enacted nearly 30 years ago to support federal investments and local decision-making to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

The CARE Act would provide $100 billion in stable, long-term funding over the next decade to help prevent and treat substance use disorders.  Under the legislation, Maryland would receive an estimated $48 million per year in state formula grants, while the hardest-hit communities in Maryland—including Baltimore City and 16 counties—would share an estimated $50.4 million in funding directed to the local jurisdictions on the front line of the crisis.  Maryland and all local jurisdictions also would be able to apply for competitive grants to seek additional funding. 

A report by the Democratic staff of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions warned that “in 2016, the economic costs of the opioid epidemic in Maryland was over $21 billion.”

More than 75 Members of the House have now joined the CARE Act as cosponsors since it was introduced, including the entire House Democratic leadership and 12 House Committee Ranking Members. 

Ranking Member Cummings offered the CARE Act as an amendment to a bill considered during the House Republicans’ opioid week, but the Republican leadership refused to allow consideration of it.  The House passed legislation cosponsored by Cummings to reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control policy, which was adopted unanimously by the House Oversight Committee and is now pending in the Senate. 

The CARE Act has been endorsed by more than 30 groups representing health care professionals, local governments, and public health advocacy organizations.  Several editorial boards have supported the idea of the CARE Act, including the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun.

WHEN:          Friday, July 27, 2018, 10 am—11 am EST

WHERE:       Health Care for the Homeless—421 Fallsway, Baltimore, Maryland 21202

PARTICIPANTS:

Members of Congress

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA)

Senator Ben Cardin (MD)

Congressman John Sarbanes (MD)

Baltimore Officials

Catherine Pugh, Mayor of Baltimore 

Gary Tuggle, Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner

Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner (Moderator)

Community Representatives

 Kevin Lindamood, President and CEO, Health Care for the Homeless

Lawanda Williams, Director of Housing Services, Health Care for the Homeless

Dr. Aliya Jones, Chair, Department of Behavioral Health, Bon Secours

Dr. Scott Nolen, Director, Addiction and Health Equity Program, Open Society Institute

Joseph T. Jones, CEO, Center for Urban Families

Amy Collier, Division Director, Community Services, Catholic Charities of Baltimore

Erricka Bridgeford, Co-founder, Baltimore Ceasefire 365

Darrell Hodge, Peer Recovery Specialist, IBR Reach Health Services

Rosalind McCrory, Client, Health Care for the Homeless

John Moser, Client, Health Care for the Homeless

All members of the press must RSVP to aryele.bradford@mail.house.gov  by Wednesday, July 25. Livestream will be available from the House Oversight Committee Democrats Facebook page.

This event is not open to the public.

115th Congress