ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Governor Larry Hogan is pledging millions to fight opioid addiction in Maryland. The governor has teamed up with a 'House Of Cards' star in a new public service announcement about the dangers of heroin and opioids.
Hogan visited FOX 5 Friday with more on the campaign and to discuss some of the other issues in Maryland like when students should head back to school.
HEROIN AND OPIOID AWARENESS
Hogan said the idea to involve the Netflix Original Series, 'House of Cards' in Maryland's continuing fight to reduce heroin and opioid addiction came from the show itself.
He said the state loved the idea and that show's star Michael Kelly - who play a character who has addiction problems - joined him for the public service announcement. "It was tremendous," Hogan said. "We can thank them enough for helping us to bring awareness to this really crisis situation that we have across the country."
Hogan said that heroin usage has tripled in the last twelve months. He said the state has enacted dozens of initiatives but they were not enough to solve the problem. Hogan says the problem is increasing at such an alarming rate that the state must allow for rapid coordination with state and local emergency management teams.
The Governor said he lost a first-cousin to heroin addiction and says the emergency declaration is the result of the initial findings of a command center the administration created in January to facilitate greater collaboration among state agencies.
"It's going to take the federal, state, local governments along with community organizations, faith based organizations and family members - everybody has got to do what they can to save lives and to stop this crisis," he said.
SCHOOL START TIMES
Governor Hogan says nearly 80 percent of Marylanders agree with his executive order that will require schools in the state to start after Labor Day. He said Prince George's County was the only county in the state to try and get around the order but their waiver was rejected.