Learn More about Opioids

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 visit Grassroots for screening & referral assistance at 6700 Freetown Road, Columbia. Visit www.HoCoOpioidHelp.com

Want to know how to properly use pain medications, the risks of misusing them, or maybe the questions you should be asking your doctor? As helpful pain medications can be to one’s body, they can be as harmful if not used appropriately. 

 Click here for a brochure about opioid misuse or stop by at the HC DrugFree office in the Wilde Lake Village Center to pick up a copy. 

Overdose Response Training Programs

Want to be more prepared when dealing with an overdose victim? The overdose response programs provided by the Howard County Health Department teach participants practice rescue breathing techniques and how to administer life-saving medicine that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. To learn more about overdose response programs, click on the informational flyer to the left or view the PowerPoint presentation from the class. To sign up for free future training sessions, contact the Health Department at 410-313-6202.

Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force - Final Report

Check out the Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force Final Report, which includes proposals and recommendations to overcome the growing heroin and opioid crisis. Click here to view full report. 

New Parent-Focused Website Promotes College Student-Parent Conversations about Drinking

A new parent-focused website, www.collegeparentsmatter.org developed by The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems focuses squarely on giving parents practical suggestions on how to discuss alcohol-related issues with their college-age child. The site was built for parents and inspired by stories that parents shared in focus groups, with significant input from parents and college students as it was being developed. Included are conversation starters (“Say This, Not This”) around several high-risk situations that are often associated with high-risk drinking—situations like spring break, 21st birthdays, housing and roommates, and so on. The site also describes seven general tips for communicating with a college student.

 Prescription Opioids What You Need to Know (fact sheet)
This is fact sheet provides information on the risks of opioid medications and on what other options are available for pain management following a surgery or injury.

Learn More                                                                                                                                                                                        For more information on prescription opioid overdose, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain (infographic) 
This infographic illustrates the scope of the epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose, notes alternative ways to manage chronic pain, and gives a brief overview of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

Learn More                                                                                                                                                                                             For more information on prescription opioid overdose, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

Nonopioid Treatments for Chronic Pain

Patients want treatment methods that will provide the greatest benefit. Opioids are not the only way to treat chronic pain and there are other methods that may relieve pain better and safer than opioids. Check out this overview of nonopioid treatments for chronic pain. 

Learn More                                                                                                                                                                                             For more information on prescription opioid overdose, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

Turn the Tide - Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

Check out this pocket guide about the Turn the Tide campaign, which gives a brief overview of the CDC Guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain and treating overdose and addiction.

Learn More                                                                                                                                                                                             For more information on prescription opioid overdose, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

Checklist for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

For primary care providers treating adults (18+) with chronic pain for 3 or more months, excluding cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care.

Learn More                                                                                                                                                                                             For more information on prescription opioid overdose, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html

World Drug Report 2016

The World Drug Report, released by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, highlights the importance of drug abuse prevention and treatment; encourages the development, adoption and implementation of alternative or additional measures with regard to conviction or punishment; and promotes proportionate national sentencing policies, practices and guidelines for drug-related offences. 

CDC Fact Sheet - Alcohol Use and Your Health

This fact sheet contains information about alcohol use and what's considered excessive alcohol use. The fact sheet also goes over the short and long-term health risk of excessive alcohol use.

For more information about alcohol use, visit http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm#x2013.

CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain — United States, 2016

This guideline provides recommendations for primary care clinicians who are prescribing opioids for chronic pain outside of active cancer treatment, palliative care, and end-of-life care. The guideline addresses 1) when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain; 2) opioid selection, dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation; and 3) assessing risk and addressing harms of opioid use. CDC developed the guideline using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) framework, and recommendations are made on the basis of a systematic review of the scientific evidence while considering benefits and harms, values and preferences, and resource allocation. This guideline is intended to improve communication between clinicians and patients about the risks and benefits of opioid therapy for chronic pain, improve the safety and effectiveness of pain treatment, and reduce the risks associated with long-term opioid therapy, including opioid use disorder, overdose, and death.

Trends in Perception of Risk and Availability of Substance Use Among Full-Time College Students

Attitudes about the risks associated with substance use have historically been closely related to their use. Because college is a period of life when many young adults are exposed to or engage in substance use, examining college students' attitudes about the risks associated with using substances and their perception of the availability of substances provides needed prevention information. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates of perceptions of great risk of harm from substance use and perceptions of availability of substances among young adults aged 18 to 22 were analyzed by full-time college student status. Additionally, the 2014 estimates for full-time college students were compared with estimates from 2002 to 2013 to examine changes in these measures over time. 

DEA's Emerging Threat Report 1st QTR 2016

Attached is a new publication being produced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Testing and Research Laboratory. This report was developed as a part of our ongoing collaboration with the Special Testing Lab. The Lab's Emerging Trends Program states that "the Special Testing and Research Laboratory’s Emerging Trends Program has been compiling data to effectively monitor new psychoactive substance (NPS) trends in the United States through queries of archived seizure and analysis information from drug evidence analyzed by the DEA laboratory system. The attached report is the 1stQuarterly Report produced by our program and includes NPS identified and seized in the first quarter of CY2016. This report will be generated on a quarterly basis to provide timely notification of DEA’s identification of these substances."

Teens - Do You Know What Prom Night Can Cost?

The anticipation of Prom can be an exciting time for a teenager. The reality is that underage drinking and/or drug use any time of year can lead to devastating consequences based on the choices teens make. HC DrugFree’s Teen Advisory Council (TAC) created this flier to let teens and parents know what those choices can cost and urges parents to talk to their teens about their plans for prom (and for any time). Click on the image on the left to see the Prom Public Service Announcement created by TAC.

Parents - Do You Know What It Costs To Host An After-Prom Party?

Click on the image to see what the anticipated costs and unanticipated costs are for hosting an After-Prom party and providing alcohol to minors or allowing underage consumption of alcohol - another Public Service Announcement created by TAC.

Parents - Click here To Read Important Tips About Prom and After-Prom

Howard County Resource Guide for Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery

Click here to download and print the Howard County Substance Use Disorder Treatment Resource Guide. In it you can find information about treatment providers. Click here for a national resource guide. 


Drug Facts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction

Many people do not understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. It is often mistakenly assumed that drug abusers lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop using drugs simply by choosing to change their behavior. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. In fact, because drugs change the brain in ways that foster compulsive drug abuse, quitting is difficult, even for those who are ready to do so. Through scientific advances, we know more about how drugs work in the brain than ever, and we also know that drug addiction can be successfully treated to help people stop abusing drugs and lead productive lives. Click here to read about drug addiction, what happens to your brain when you take drugs, and why some people become addicted while other do not.


Quit Smoking Today
For information on free smoking cessation classes, call the Howard County Health Department at 410-313-6265. For information in Spanish, click here. For free tips and tools to quit smoking, get the American Cancer Society's Guide to Quitting Smoking in English or in Spanish, or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

Howard County Police Department - Telephone Numbers:

Emergency                                911
Non-emergency                        410-313-2200
Drug Activity                             410-290-3784
Anonymous Tips                       410-313-7867
Victim Assistance                      410-313-3712
HCPD Spanish line                    410-313-7807

Did you know that in Howard County...
According to the Howard County Police Department:

  • There were more than 7,261 DUI arrests by the Howard County Police Department in 2010-2015

  • There were 23 fatal alcohol-related crashes between 2010 and 2015

  • 34 people died in alcohol-related collisions between 2008 and 2013

Upcoming Collision Avoidance Training Dates

HC DrugFree encourages teens to attend Howard County Police Department's Collision Avoidance Training (CAT) sessions. For more information, contact Jessica Beram at 410-313-3700, 410-313-3758 or jberam@howardcountymd.gov

Carlo DiClementi speaks about addiction and change

Click here to watch an interview with Carlo DiClementi, Howard County resident and Professor of Psychology, as he discusses his two books, "Changing for Good" and "Addiction and Change."


National Survey on Drug Use and Health
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) is the primary source of information on
the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of substance abuse among people age 12 and older. Click here to read a summary of the 2011 Survey. Read the results of the 2009 study by clicking here. Click here to read the results of the 2014 survey.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD)

Click here to check out statistics from MADD.