Greg continues his interview with Clay Stamp, the Executive Director of the Opioid Operational Command Center in Maryland. Established under the Interagency Heroin and Opioid Coordinating Council in January 2017, the Opioid Operational Command Center works to collect, analyze, and facilitate data-sharing with State and local sources to create better strategies in their fight against the opioid epidemic.
Moving on from their discussion of Maryland’s Mobile Recovery Unit and Crisis Teams, Greg asks Clay about the importance of having transparency with these units and other providers, especially for vulnerable families that just don’t know enough. Clay agrees that those trying to help loved ones with substance use disorder are particularly susceptible. He also explains that this is one of the reasons they are pushing hard for accreditation. “It’s a scary place for a parent to be and a helpless place for a parent to be… I’m a father, and I’m a grandfather and I’ve had this impact my family as well so I understand, but I don’t understand the horror that I hear in many voices that I talk to. The governor sends me individuals that have lost loved ones and it’s heart-wrenching, but it drives our passion as a group to push forward. It’s so important that we work aggressively to make the system that provides support as least complicated as we can – and that’s a challenge… Transparency is important, but not only transparency, holding people accountable that provide services. You know, we’ve seen some unfortunate stories from the South about things happening in recovery centers. We don’t want to replicate that in Maryland. In Maryland, we are going through an accreditation process, some providers complain about that and others realize the importance of it. Because we need to make sure that [for] people who are being referred and engage in treatment that it’s credible, it’s reputable, and they’ll get the best.”
Listen to the podcast to discover how Maryland’s position on the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis is not only allowing them to create better treatment centers, but to better address the laws holding those who have suffered from substance use disorder back.