#Neighborhood Living
Anne Arundel County Council
United States of America

It is no secret that the rise in the opioid epidemic, and increase in fatal overdoses, has been both alarming in data and detrimental to the overall socioeconomic quality and prosperity all across the nation. The increase in substance abuse programs and residential facilities have made a significant impact on decreasing the prevalence of substance abuse and deaths due to overdose within the community/population. Bills that come to fruition, which restrict the work these programs and facilities are accomplishing, will significantly diminish the progress that has been made on the war against drugs. Bill 16-20, if voted into action, will only fuel the fire of the opioid crisis our nation is facing. Bill 16-20 affects more than just the logistics of recovery residences, group homes, and assisted living facilities. It also affects the families of the people who are in desperate need of care. Knowledge, in all forms, is powerful. If Bill 16-20 is voted into action, the negative impact won't be just on a basic county level, but instead will become the catalyst for harmful changes across every county and state that decides to adopt the same practices. We, as powerful people with both knowledge and determination, can stop this bill. We can make a difference, and we need to do it now.

This petition is focused on opposing a bill that is being presented by the county council. Bill 16-20 withholds the a purpose of placing significant restrictions on group homes, recovery residences, and assisted living facilities, to a certain number of beds. Bill 16-20 also will not allow these facilities to be next door to one another. This bill is the first of its kind, to our knowledge, and to us is borderline discrimination against 3 very protected classes. If this bill passes, it would mean that some of the best providers in Anne Arundel County, who are trying their hardest to combat the opioid epidemic, wouldn't be able to do what they do. Many providers already have houses next door to each other and are already certified, monitored, and inspected on the state level. Adding more county level restrictions would in fact be detrimental to the very solution to one of our nation's deadliest problems. This comes from "too many homes popping up in residential neighborhoods", and it is "changing the face of the communities"; however, the truth is our communities changed when the opioid epidemic hit them years ago. Allowing these homes to be there, for people to safely and affordably live while integrating back into society, MUST be OUR COMMUNITIES sacrifice to live in the solution to a problem that none of us asked for. Here are the statistics to show exactly how our communities have changed:
2014- 48 fatal overdoes
2015- 51 fatal overdoses
For the first time in years, we have seen a drop in fatal overdose numbers as a whole, but it is still almost triple what it was since just 2014.
So, I encourage you to look at these numbers and ask yourself now that you are informed: Are recovery residences the problem or the solution to this problem?
Anne Arundel County, up until this moment overall, has been a leader in the state of Maryland on solutions to the epidemic. More importantly, many other counties and states are trying to adopt many of our models. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO MAKE SURE WE DON'T START MOVING BACKWARDS. WE ALL HAVE TO RISE TOGETHER TO HELP FIGHT THIS.

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The Oppose Bill 16-20: Restrictions for Recovery Residences & More petition to Anne Arundel County Council was written by Christie Leone and is in the category Neighborhood Living at GoPetition.