Teen Vaping Results: Monitoring the Future Survey

Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, discusses findings from the 43nd annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, released December 14, 2017. The survey focuses on drug use and attitudes among America’s 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Questionnaires given to more than 10,000 teenagers measures the use of tobacco, alcohol and traditional illicit drugs, as well as newer drug trends, including electronic cigarettes and synthetics. The MTF survey, funded by NIDA, is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

NIDA: Opioid and Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Reporting

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released a video with their Deputy Director, Dr. Wilson Compton discussing overdose deaths involving opioids including fentanyl. 

Remember, fentanyl (alone or mixed with other drugs) and other opiods are killing people in Howard County. 

Thank you to NIDA staff and Dr. Compton for the work you do throughout the year and the support you provide to HC DrugFree. 

CDC Releases Suicide Fact Sheet

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a 2018 Suicide Fact Sheet defining what is suicide, how big of a problem is it, what are the consequences and how can it be prevented. 

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Howard County Overdoses at 112

Howard County Police and Fire and Rescue Services responded to 7 non-fatal overdoses this past weekend. The 2018 year-to-date overdose count is 21 fatal and 91 non-fatal, for a total of 112. *In fatal cases, some deaths are pending autopsy results for opioids and/or other substances. Numbers may fluctuate.  

If you or someone you know in Howard County needs help with an opioid or other drug issue, call 800-422-0009, 24-hours a day, or walk into Grassroots for screening & referral assistance, 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia. Visit  www.HoCoOpioidHelp.com

Howard County Overdoses Hit More Than 100 in 2018

As of this morning, Howard County Police report 2018 overdoses are now at 103.

Year-to-Date (January 1 to June 4, 2018):

Fatal Overdoses in Howard County: 20*
Non-Fatal Overdoses in Howard County: 83

*In fatal cases, some deaths are pending autopsy results for opioids and/or other substances. Numbers may fluctuate.

If you or someone you know in Howard County needs help with an opioid or other drug issue, call 800-422-0009, 24-hours a day, or walk into Grassroots for screening & referral assistance, 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia. www.HoCoOpioidHelp.com

 #HoCoHelp

Howard County Police and MD State Police Conducting DUI Patrols

According to a press release from the Howard County Police Department, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) patrols result in 10 arrests overnight. Police see improved results replacing traditional DUI checkpoints with increased patrols for impaired driving.

The Howard County Police Department and the Maryland State Police conducted joint supplemental patrols as part of a grant-funded DUI detail overnight, resulting in the arrest of 10 impaired drivers. This effort involved additional officers patrolling the roads who focused specifically on identifying impaired drivers, replacing the more traditional style of DUI checkpoints. The grant was funded by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office. Police remind citizens to always designate a sober driver or refrain from drinking alcohol if they will be driving. If you see a suspected impaired driver on the road, please call 911. The Howard County Police Department and the Maryland State Police will continue to conduct impaired driving enforcement details over the Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer to help move Maryland Toward Zero Deaths. More information on the state-wide initiative can be found at www.towardzerodeathsmd.com.

1st Annual Howard County ROSC* Home Run for Recovery Softball Tournament

Go to bat for recovery in Howard County. Cheer for the Recovery and Agency teams as they race around the bases for fun and entertainment. Discover resources for hope and education about the disease of addiction. Food will be available. Open to the public at no cost.

Saturday May 5th, 2018  from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Centennial Park North, 9801 Old Annapolis Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

ROSC* is the Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.

Bring a lawn chair and come join in the fun in the sun!

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Howard County 2018 Overdoses (thru April 4, 2018)

The Howard County Police Department Reported 2018 Year-To-Date Overdoses as of April 4: 
Fatal: 14*
Non-Fatal: 59

*In fatal cases, some deaths are pending autopsy results for opioids and/or other substances. Numbers may fluctuate.

If you or someone you know in Howard County needs help with an opioid or other drug issue, call 800-422-0009, 24-hours a day, or walk into Grassroots for screening & referral assistance, 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia. www.HoCoOpioidHelp.com

Howard County 2018 Overdoses (thru March 27)

The Howard County Police Department Reported 2018 Year-To-Date Overdoses as of March 27: 
Fatal: 11*
Non-Fatal: 54

*In fatal cases, some deaths are pending autopsy results for opioids and/or other substances. Numbers may fluctuate.

If you or someone you know in Howard County needs help with an opioid or other drug issue, call 800-422-0009, 24-hours a day, or walk into Grassroots for screening & referral assistance, 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia. www.HoCoOpioidHelp.com

Howard County 2017 Total Overdoses

*The Howard County Police Department Reported 2017 Calendar Year Overdoses: 

In fatal cases, some deaths are pending autopsy results for opioids and/or other substances. Numbers may fluctuate. 

In 2017, there were a total of 57* overdose deaths and 171 non-fatal overdoses in Howard County.

OIT Promising Practices Swap & Share Held in Howard County

Maryland’s Opioid Operational Command Center (OOCC) hosted an Opioid Intervention Team (OIT) Promising Practices Swap & Share at the Howard County Public Safety Training Center. The event provided an important platform for OIT teams from counties across the state to share best practices and lessons learned in the fight against the opioid crisis.

Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford delivered welcoming remarks followed by remarks from Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman, Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader, Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Russell J. Strickland, and Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Associate Director Natasha Mehu. Clay Stamp, Executive Director of the OOCC, and Birch Barron, Deputy Director of the OOCC, served as M.C.’s for the day.

 Pictured: Representatives from MD's OOCC along with staff from Howard County's Detention Center, Health Department, Police Department, State's Attorney's Office and HC DrugFree.

Pictured: Representatives from MD's OOCC along with staff from Howard County's Detention Center, Health Department, Police Department, State's Attorney's Office and HC DrugFree.

CDC Prescription Medication Awareness Campaign Videos

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rx Awareness campaign videos tell the real stories of people whose lives have been negatively impacted by prescription opioid use and abuse.

Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

Click here to read the interim report prepared for President Trump by the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most recent data estimates that 142 Americans die every day from a drug overdose. Our citizens are dying. We must act boldly to stop it. The opioid epidemic we are facing is unparalleled. The average American would likely be shocked to know that drug overdoses now kill more people than gun homicides and car crashes combined. In fact, between 1999 and 2015, more than 560,000 people in this country died due to drug overdoses – this is a death toll larger than the entire population of Atlanta. As we have all seen, opioids are a prime contributor to our addiction and overdose crisis. In 2015, nearly two-thirds of drug overdoses were linked to opioids like Percocet, OxyContin, heroin, and fentanyl. This is an epidemic that all Americans face because here is the grim reality: Americans consume more opioids than any other country in the world. In fact, in 2015, the amount of opioids prescribed in the U.S. was enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks.

Updated Directory of Services

Looking for local resources for Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery?

Please click here for the updated Resource Directory. Remember, the most updated directories are always available on this website's Facts and Resources Page.

Free 5-Part Training Series: Core Competencies in Integrated Care

The Core Competencies in Integrated Care training series will provide an experiential
opportunity to learn more about some of the basics of clinical practices in integrated
care.

Click here to access training information and register by August 25. This training will be
hosted by the Howard County Health Department, Bureau of Behavioral Health and
Howard County Mental Health Authority.

New Marijuana Anonymous Meeting at the Serenity Center

Have a problem with marijuana? The Serenity Center in Columbia, MD just started a Marijuana Anonymous meeting - a free 12-step support group for those who may be struggling with marijuana. The Serenity Center is located at 9650 Basket Ring Road, Columbia, MD 21045. To confirm meeting date and time, call 410-884-6088 or visit their website: http://serenitycenter.homestead.com/.

Are You FedUp! about The Opioid Epidemic?

If you want to join others from across the county or country to end the epidemic of
addiction and overdose deaths attributed to opioids (including heroin and prescription
drugs), consider attending the FedUp! candlelight vigil on Thursday, August 31. For a
printable flier for the Washington, D.C. event, click here. For information about a local
event, click here.

Maryland's Prescription Opioid Storage Habits

The following update was provided by the Behavioral Health Research Team, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy: Kimberly Stinchcomb, MPH Marianne Gibson, MS Nicole Sealfon, MPH, Fadia Shaya, PhD

Non-medical use of prescription opioids is a public health epidemic that has touched all corners of Maryland. Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed that over 206,000 Marylanders reported past-year non-medical use of prescription opioids. While there are many risks associated with prescription opioid misuse, including death, there is cause for more concern as many new heroin users are transitioning from prescription opioids.

Prescription opioids can be accessed in a variety of ways, including through sharing and stealing in homes. One way to prevent prescription drug diversion is through proper storage. In the fall of 2016, the Behavioral Health Research Team, housed within the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, administered the second iteration of the Maryland Public Opinion Survey on Opioids (MPOS) to assess the opinions and behaviors regarding prescription opioids and heroin.

Participants of the 2016 MPOS included 5,496 Maryland residents aged 18 years and older. Storage habits of prescription opioids were identified through the following questions: 1) In your opinion, where should prescription opioids be stored? 2) Have you or anyone in your household been prescribed an opioid medication in the past 12 months? 3) The location where the prescription opioid is stored is a) always locked, b) sometimes locked, c) never locked, or d) I no longer have it. 4) How often do you count your prescription opioids for monitoring? Over 96% (n=4,301) of respondents stated that opioids should be stored in a locked place; however, among those who had a member in their household taking prescription opioids, about 58% (n=1,008) reported that the medication was stored in a location that was never locked. Only 16% (n=294) of the respondents reported that the medication was locked up sometimes or always. Furthermore, over 75% (n=1,398) reported that they never counted their prescription opioids, which would show proper monitoring.

MPOS findings showed that although people recognize that prescription opioids should be kept in a locked location, the majority are not doing so. Public health professionals need to continue to educate residents on how to safely store and monitor their prescription drugs. While safe storage of medications will not solve the opioid epidemic, it is a piece of the puzzle that can curtail drug diversion.