The city of Frederick has received more than $160,000 for its efforts against the opioid crisis from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But where that money will be going is unclear.

Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, as well as Rep. David Trone, announced in a press release Wednesday afternoon that $668,000 would go to western Maryland to address the opioid epidemic. The state received $2.4 million overall from the Health and Human Services Department, through the Health Resources and Services Administration under the Integrated Behavioral Health Services program.

The city of Frederick, Tri-State Community Health Center in Hancock, Walnut Street Community Health Center in Hagerstown and Western Maryland Health Care Corp. in Oakland each received $167,000, according to the press release.

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged our country, and it has hit rural communities in Western Maryland particularly hard,” Trone said in the press release.

Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor said he did not know the city received the funding. He was unsure how the grant funding would be used.

The money from the grant can go to organizations, such as Tri-State Community Health Center, or cities and towns, as it did with Frederick, said Francesca Amodeo, a spokeswoman for Van Hollen.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at

(3) comments

Comment deleted.

Did he really say that about opioids sam? If so, it contradicts his previous statements covered by this newspaper:

So far in 2019, there is a slight uptick in the number of fatal overdoses in the county compared with the same period of time in 2018, said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. The city of Frederick saw a similar trend.

So far in 2019, there have been 84 non-fatal overdoses and 19 fatal overdoses. The uptick in fatalities is likely due to fentanyl, Jenkins told members of the consortium.

It is seven years into the current opioid crisis that has claimed more than 245 lives in Frederick County as of March 6, and affected hundreds more. The county sees nearly one non-fatal overdose every day and approximately one fatal overdose per week, said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.

“It’s worse than it ever was,” he said.

There is no shortage of drugs coming into the country, he said. And more and more drugs are laced with fentanyl, a powerful opioid that many health care and law enforcement experts attribute to the rise in overdoses. Fentanyl is considered 100 times more potent than morphine, usually prescribed in hospitals, according to a STAT article.

Jenkins acknowledged that the problem is not one that law enforcement can solve on its own.

In September, Jenkins and County Executive Jan Gardner announced the county detention center’s work release site as a possible location for an addiction detox center. Jenkins campaigned on his agency’s response to the opioid crisis. Sheriff’s deputies responded to 117 nonfatal and 26 fatal overdoses in 2017, according to agency data. Jenkins oversaw department training in the use of naloxone, a drug treatment used to reverse opioid-related overdoses.

The detox site, if housed at the work release center, could hold up to 32 beds, Jenkins (R) said at the briefing. He and Gardner discussed the proposal behind closed doors before making the announcement, he said.

“Now I got to tell you in four years, it’s probably the first time I made her smile or got a high-five,” Jenkins said, which got a laugh from the crowd.

Jenkins, who said two of his son’s friends have died from opioid overdoses, shared his department’s staggering statistics on local heroin and opioid overdoses: 409 Frederick County residents overdosed in 2016 and 54 people died of an overdose, Jenkins said.

The sheriff touted the effect of the overdose-reversing drug Narcan on the issue. Seventy-seven lives have been saved since sheriff’s deputies started carrying and using Narcan in 2014.

Jenkins suggested that Frederick County needs an immediate access detox center. “I have so many people come to me and say, ‘Sheriff, my son or my daughter is an addict. We need help now. Where do I go?’ There’s nothing out there,” Jenkins said.

“That window of wanting help closes very fast,” he said.

Jenkins also talked about the results of his office’s interdiction efforts and collaborations with federal law enforcement agencies. These efforts have resulted in several high-level drug busts, Jenkins said.

Comment deleted.

He is an empty suit.

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