Baltimore, Maryland: U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur Announces More Than $2.9 Million in Justice Department Grants to Combat Addiction Crisis in Maryland
(STL.News) – U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur today announced awards of $2,905,629 in Department of Justice grants to fight drug abuse and addiction in the District of Maryland. The grants were awarded by the Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and are part of more than $341 million going to communities nationwide.
“The addiction crisis has taken an enormous toll on America’s families and communities, eroding public health, threatening public safety and claiming tens of thousands of lives year after year,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Through comprehensive measures taken by this administration, we have been able to curtail the opioid epidemic, but new and powerful drugs are presenting exceptional challenges that we must be prepared to meet. The Justice Department’s substantial investments in enforcement, response, and treatment will help us overcome these challenges and work towards freeing Americans from abuse and addiction.”
“We must do everything we can to combat opioid addiction,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “These grants from the Department of Justice will help prevent opioid addiction through prescription drug monitoring programs, provide treatment to drug-addicted prisoners, and help prosecute drug dealers by enhancing our ability to evaluate evidence. These efforts are crucial to the fight to stop drug abuse and dangerous overdoses.”
Illegal drugs and illicit drug use have claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 Americans since the turn of the century. Powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl are exacting an enormous toll on families and communities, and an emergence in the use of methamphetamines and other psychostimulants is drawing drug traffickers and driving up overdose rates. Three years ago, President Trump declared a Public Health Emergency and initiated a whole-of-government approach dedicated to ending this national tragedy. The Department of Justice has invested unprecedented levels of funding in combating the addiction crisis. The awards announced today build on those earlier investments.
“If we hope to defeat an enemy as powerful, persistent and adaptable as illicit drugs, we must be at least as determined and versatile, focusing our ingenuity and resources on curbing abuse and fighting addiction,” said OJP’s Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan. “These grants will enable criminal justice officials and substance abuse, mental health and other medical professionals to pool their assets and bring the full weight of our public safety and treatment systems down on this epidemic that has already caused so much harm.”
Funding is made available through OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, National Institute of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
The following organizations received funding:
- The Maryland Department of Health has received $1,930,382 to enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies and public health officials to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data and other scheduled chemical products through a centralized database. Prescription drug monitoring programs help state and local governments to detect and prevent the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutically controlled substances such as opioids and other prescription drugs
- The Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services has received $427,047 for residential substance abuse for state prisoners
- The National Institute of Standards and Technology is receiving a total of $548,200 for research and development in forensic science for criminal justice purposes; and for research and evaluation for the testing and interpretation of physical evidence in publicly funded forensic labs