MIL-OSI USA: Ruppersberger Secures $420,000 For New Anti-Drug Education Effort in Harford County


Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (2nd District of Maryland)

(Washington, DC) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger helped secure $420,000 to help educate middle and high school students in Harford County about substance misuse. The funding was included in the $242 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2023, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee today and now goes before the full U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

An Appropriator, Congressman Ruppersberger requested the funding on behalf of Ashley Addiction Treatment Center, a Harford County-based nonprofit leader in the treatment of substance abuse disorders that plans to work with local school boards to coordinate delivery of new programs for students about the impacts of drug use on their health. The funds will be used to develop the curriculum, hire staff and measure the results.

“Maryland families continue to be ravaged by the opioid epidemic, which the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated. Now more than ever, we must provide communities with the resources needed to confront this crisis head-on,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “This funding will provide students in Harford County with the information necessary to make healthy, safe choices that set them up for success. I am proud to have fought for this funding on behalf of my constituents, and I thank my fellow Appropriators for recognizing the need for these vital resources.”

“Substance use disorder treatment facilities tend to focus much attention on treating substance use disorders, with less attention paid to prevention,” said Greg Hobelmann, Co-CEO and President, Ashley Treatment. “We know that this has to change if we are to make strides in reducing the impact of substance use disorders on individuals, families and society. As such, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to use these funds to further a dedicated substance use education program for youth, so we can do our part in helping to prevent this devastating disorder.” 

“Harford County Public Schools is excited to partner with Ashley Treatment in providing education to our students about substance use prevention and healthy alternatives to coping with life stressors,” said Christina Alton, Mental Health Specialist with Harford County Public Schools. “This work will strengthen our current relationship established by the Adolescent Clubhouse, a resource utilized by HCPS students and their families.”

The project is one of 15 Community Project Funding Requests submitted by Congressman Ruppersberger in the 12 various appropriations bills for 2023. It is among more than 4,700 projects submitted by members of the House of Representatives collectively, only some of which will be approved after careful vetting. All requests are subject to strict transparency and accountability rules, which can be found here.

The $242 billion Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill funds agencies and programs in the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education. The legislation creates jobs; invests in education, childcare and research; bolsters public health infrastructure and advances equal treatment for women.