NEWS ADVISORY – August 16, 2018                                                     
Rena Daly, Media Relations
667-600-2007 – cell 646-263-6384

Baltimore’s Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen trains Catholic Charities’ City shelter staff and residents to administer Naloxone during an opioid overdose

Dr. Wen turns to Catholic Charities as partner in fight against opioid epidemic

WHAT: Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Wen will train staff and residents of the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center, which is operated by Catholic Charities, to administer naloxone, a medication that can be given by non-medical professional to rapidly reverse an overdose.

Baltimore City has the highest death rate for unintentional intoxication deaths in the state at 45.1 deaths per 100,000 residents. It is followed by Cecil County at 31.4, Caroline County at 29.9, Allegany County 29.0 and Washington County at 28.8 “We are seeing an epidemic of overdoses in Maryland and around the country and these numbers are terrifying,” said Dr. Wen in a recent news report.

To fight the epidemic more, the city needs more funding to combat the crisis, including additional funding to make naloxone more available, according to Dr. Wen. “In 2017, everyday residents in Baltimore saved 1,130 people (with naloxone), but we are forced to ration its use (due to cost),”said Dr. Wen in a recent news report. She added that the city also needs greater state and federal support to help treat those with addiction issues.

WHEN:             Friday, August 17 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

WHERE:           Weinberg Housing and Resource Center (Baltimore City Shelter)
620 Fallsway Baltimore Maryland 21202

WHO:   Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner
Bill McCarthy, Executive Director of Catholic Charities
Lee Martin
, Program Director of Weinberg Housing and Resource Center

BACKGROUND: In 2017, more than 2,000 Marylanders died from opioid-related overdoses. New reports show that the epidemic did not slow in the first quarter of 2018. According to the Maryland Department of Health, of the 2,282 drug and alcohol-related deaths in Maryland last year, 2,009 were opioid-related.
Learn more about Dr. Leana Wen

Since 2013, Catholic Charities of Baltimore has operated the Weinberg Housing and Resource Center shelter for the city. Every night, 275 adult men and women experiencing homelessness stay at the shelter. Its services include shelter, convalescent care, breakfast and dinner, showers, laundry, case management and a variety of life skills and empowerment classes – with a focused goal of assisting residents in obtaining permanent housing. Learn about Catholic Charities and Weinberg Housing and Resource Center at