On March 1, 2017, Governor Larry Hogan signed Executive Order 01.01.2017.02 declaring a State of Emergency in response to the heroin, opioid, and fentanyl crisis ravaging communities in Maryland and across the country. This declaration activates the governor’s emergency management authority and enables increased and more rapid coordination between the state and local jurisdictions. The governor, along with Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, also announced $50 million in new funding to address the crisis, as well as the appointment of the governor’s senior emergency management advisor Clay Stamp to lead the state’s coordinated effort to combat the crisis. 
Drug overdoses have become a serious public health challenge in Maryland and across the country. In Maryland, the total number of overdose deaths has risen steadily since 2010, mainly due to the increase in heroin-related deaths. According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as it has become more difficult and expensive to obtain prescription opioids, people have switched to cheaper and more accessible heroin.
Maryland’s state agencies have engaged in comprehensive, cross-agency efforts to reduce opioid overdose deaths. These efforts include educating the public and implementing new medical practices.​