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!

ROSC-BBall-Flyer-8.5x11-rev2 Jpeg.jpg

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.

2017, Booklet 10: Education Sector Responses to the Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs

Click here for a pdf copy of the 2017 Good Policy and Practice in Health Education, Booklet 10, Education Sector Responses to the Use of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drugs.

This booklet has been developed through an international consultation process led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Naloxone Available without A Prescription

Beginning June 1, 2017, anyone can get Naloxone at a Maryland pharmacy without a prescription. 

Naloxone is a life-saving medication that can quickly restore the breathing of a person experiencing an opioid overdose. Opioids are a group of drugs that include heroin and prescription medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl and methadone. Naloxone is available as a generic drug or under the brand names NARCAN® and EVZIO®.

Like other prescription drugs, what you pay depends on whether you have insurance with a prescription drug plan, and what that plan covers. Naloxone is covered by Maryland Medicaid. If you don’t have insurance, ask the pharmacist about any discounts or coupons from the pharmacy or drug maker.

For more information, click here.

Anne Arundel County Declares "Safe Stations"

County and Annapolis officials announced Thursday that area fire departments and police stations will function as resource centers for people addicted to drugs that want help and also will give free medical evaluations to those seeking treatment. These "safe stations" will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Within two hours of the announcement, a person walked in to the Brooklyn Park Volunteer Fire Department and asked for help with his addiction.

 

Study Shows Marijuana Use Interrupts Adolescent Brain Development

This article states, "Regular marijuana use by teens can stop the brain from maturing, according to a new study by scientists at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL. Published March 4 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the study is the first to establish a causal link between repeated cannabinoid exposure during adolescence and an interruption of the normal maturation processes in the prefrontal cortex, a region in the brain's frontal lobe, which regulates decision ­making and working memory and undergoes critical development during adolescence."

"The study shows how chronic cannabis use by teens can cause persistent behavioral deficits in adulthood, including problems with attention span and impulse control. The findings also add to prior research that draws a correlation between adolescent marijuana abuse and the development of schizophrenia."

As an increasing number of states consider legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use, this discovery calls for prescribing physicians to take notice and for policy makers "to establish regulations to take advantage of the beneficial effects of marijuana while minimizing its detrimental potential."

To read the full article, click here.

 

 

Intriguing Washington Post Article About Senior (Beach) Week

Apprehensions, acceptance and alternatives are found in an April 17 article, "Senior (Beach) Week and teens can be a disastrous combination." If you will be faced with the decision to allow your teen to participate, if you have been down this road already, or if you are in any position to influence, you will likely find value in and enjoy this article's offerings. Aside from truly sound ideas which include a four-step approach to Beach Week by a group of parents, it ends in a surprising bit of humor. (Definitely worth the read to the bottom!) To view the article, click here.

 

Regional Heroin Ring Dismantled, 11 Indicted in Alexandria

According to a March 20, 2017 article on wtop.com entitled, Regional heroin ring dismantled, 11 indicted in Alexandria, “A rash of heroin overdoses in Alexandria launched a yearlong investigation that crossed into six communities on both side of the Potomac River and disrupted a trafficking network that has pushed nearly $1 million worth of heroin onto the region’s streets, Virginia authorities said Monday.”

“Eleven men and women from Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County, Maryland, have been indicted on charges of racketeering, illegal drug possession and distribution, the Alexandria City Police Department announced Monday.”

“This didn’t come from a few drug deals on a street corner,” said Gary Settle, director of the Virginia State Police criminal investigative bureau. “These men and women were organized. They were part of a complex network responsible for trafficking thousands of dollars worth of heroin and cocaine throughout the region – heroin that came very close to costing people their lives.”

The overdoses were reported by local emergency rooms and community members. Investigators found a common distributor that linked those non-fatal cases, Settle said.” To read the full article, click here.