Worcester County Launches Opioid Abuse Awareness Effort
Snow Hill, MD – Nationally, prescription and illicit opioid misuse and abuse has seen a drastic spike in recent years, a trend that Worcester County is not immune to. Opioid-related overdose deaths, particularly heroin, have been on the rise locally. In response, the Worcester County Drug and Alcohol Council (WCDAC) is launching a long-term opioid awareness campaign that includes advertising across traditional and social media, expanded options to dispose of expired medications, as well as life-saving Naloxone overdose response training.
Doug Dods, Chair of the Council, Beau Oglesby, State’s Attorney, and Debbie Goeller, Health Officer, all spoke today about the devastating impact that opioid and heroin overdoses have had on our community. The “Decisions Matter” media campaign focuses on the choices young people make, how important those choices are, and how addiction takes away an individual’s ability to make their own decisions. The campaign contains educational messaging which also targets parents about the importance of securing their medications using television and radio commercials, social marketing and digital resources.
A subcommittee led by Beau Oglesby, named the Opioid Awareness Taskforce, has been meeting this year to develop plans to tackle the issue. The Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) has also placed additional prevention and treatment strategies in place in conjunction with the Decisions Matter campaign.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2011-2013), people addicted to prescription opioid painkillers are 40 times more likely to be addicted to heroin. Because prescription misuse, particularly with teens, often begins with the home medicine cabinet, the sheriff’s office announced the establishment of a new medication disposal dropbox at the Government Center in Snow Hill, bringing the total to three 24/7 dropboxes across Worcester County.
For more information about this effort, visit DecisionsMatter.org or call the WCHD at 410-632-0056.Share on Facebook