APRIL 8, 2016
CONTACTS: Tim Zink, 410-962-4436/Sue Walitsky 202-224-4524
Cardin, Sarbanes to Lead Discussion on Statewide Opioid Epidemic
Members of Congress to be joined by medical and behavioral health professionals, law enforcement to exchange ideas on ways to prevent and overcome addiction 
Friday, April 8 at 10:00 AM, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03) will join medical and behavioral health practitioners and law enforcement officials from throughout Maryland at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) to discuss the growing statewide epidemic of addiction to opioids. Senator Cardin and participants will discuss the many ways in which addiction takes root, along with exploring approaches to treatment and the prevention of future cases of addiction.
“The epidemic of opioid abuse and addiction is a public health crisis that hurts every state in our country, and every region of Maryland. Some parts of our state have the highest per capita rates of heroin and opioid drug use in the United States,” said Senator Cardin.  “Facing this challenge goes beyond law enforcement and must include treatment centers, prevention, addressing overdoses and providing support for those in or seeking recovery. A comprehensive approach requires the federal government work as an active partner with our states and localities, providing adequate resources to address the existing and emerging trends in opioid and heroin abuse.”
“Families in Maryland and across the country are being torn apart by the growing epidemic of opioid addiction and overdose,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “By taking a comprehensive approach to this complex problem – and by bringing together medical professionals, behavioral health experts, law enforcement and local, state and federal officials – we can improve addiction treatment and expand access to prevention services.”
“We are supportive of the federal and local governments’ efforts to put policies in place to improve intervention and access to treatment,” said Ray Hoffman, MD, director of the AAMC Division of Mental Health and Substance Use. “Addiction and abuse problems are rampant throughout our communities — they do not discriminate. Addiction is a disease just like cancer or heart disease or diabetes and children, men and women deserve the same compassion, support and care that patients with other diseases receive.”
WHAT:                      Roundtable Discussion on Statewide Opioid Epidemic
            WHO:                        U.S. Senator Ben Cardin
                                                U.S. Representative John Sarbanes
The Governor’s Task Force on Addiction
Anne Arundel Medical Center Leadership
Medical and Behavioral Health Professionals
WHEN:                      Friday, April 8 at 10:00 AM      
WHERE:                    Anne Arundel Medical Center, Doordan Institute
7th Floor, Belcher Pavilion, Classrooms 4 and 5
2001 Medical Parkway, Annapolis, MD 21401
HOW:                        MEDIA are encouraged to RSVP to Tim