The recently released Maryland overdose fatality review team report offered several recommendations to help combat this growing epidemic. The report noted that 40% of decedents had co-existing mental health conditions and 18% had previous suicide attempts. Recommendations include:
- Mandatory training of providers (enacted last year re: opioids, but watch for additions/expansion re: naloxone training for doctors)
- Peers counselors embedded in EDs (watch for privacy/HIPAA violations not binding on “peers”)
- Mandatory reporting/information sharing between agencies (problematic if psychiatry involved)
The MPS expects to see legislation related to this during the 2019 session, some of which will relate to psychiatry and patient privacy. There could also bills introduced to mandate mental health assessments in the emergency department for anyone presenting with an opioid use disorder.