For Better Treatment, Lower the Barrier to Entry

Baltimore’s legacy of segregation, high poverty rates and massive socio-economic disparities means the toll of opioids is especially acute in the city's black communities.

Overdose deaths in the 1990s prompted the state of Maryland and Baltimore to expand access to methadone and buprenorphine treatment; it worked. Overdoses fell—until fentanyl came along. Then overdoses skyrocketed, cracking treatment gaps wide open.

Today in Baltimore, there are plenty of treatment programs but many require ID, insurance and an appointment. There are not enough “low-threshold options,” says Natanya Robinowitz, of Charm City Care Connection. 

The Behavioral Health Leadership Institute’s treatment van is one of precious few. It offers mobile treatment—no appointment and no ID necessary.


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