The Maryland General Assembly passed the Heroin and Opioid Prevention Effort (HOPE) and Treatment Act of 2017 (HOPE Act). This comprehensive behavioral health measure includes provisions on everything from crisis treatment centers and hotlines to hospital discharge procedures and treatment in jails and prisons. It also includes provisions from the Keep the Door Open Act supported by the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition to properly resource community mental health and substance use disorder providers. Specifically, the HOPE Act would:
- Require establishment of behavioral health crisis treatment centers consistent with forthcoming recommendations from the Maryland Behavioral Health Advisory Council.
- Require creation and promotion of a statewide 24/7 crisis hotline to connect callers with appropriate mental health and substance use disorder resources.
- Require collection and dissemination of resources and information about opioid use disorder.
- Repeal a requirement that an individual be trained in overdose identification before receiving the overdose-reversal medication naloxone from a pharmacist.
- Require specified increases in funding for community behavioral health services.
- Require hospitals to have protocols for discharging patients treated for a drug overdose or identified as having a substance use disorder. The protocols may include coordination with peer recovery counselors, connection to community-based treatment, a prescription for naloxone, etc.
- Require development of a plan for increasing substance use disorder treatment in jails and prisons.