I had a few extra moments this morning , so for the first time I was able to watch the county’s Public Information briefing broadcast on FCGTV. On this morning’s briefing there were two items to discuss. The first item was a county first! Jan and Bud held their first public bill signing.

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Congratulations Jan and Bud! Hopefully this brings some good opportunities to Frederick County so many of our citizens can stop that trek down 270.

The second half of the meeting was less celebratory. Jan and a representative from the county health department held a discussion about the heroin and opioid problem that is rampant throughout our fair state. We were made aware of these horrible statistics:

35 citizens of our fine county died as a result of heroin overdose last year.

Calls regarding heroin use have increased over 300%.

There are more heroin related deaths than homicides in our county.

Pretty terrible. What can be done? A number of suggestions were made.

First of all, if you have any prescription medicines, that you are no longer taking, you should bring them to one of these collection sites. I will take that even one step further. If you have been prescribed a medication that could become addictive, lock it up! Because honestly anyone can take it.

The county is also involved in a number of interagency partnerships in an effort to combat this problem. For example, the Frederick Police Department and the Frederick County Health Department. If the police come into contact with someone who appears to have an addiction problem they will be referred to a Peer Recovery coach who has been trained by the health department.  In fact, if you are interested in becoming a Peer Recovery coach they are having a training session in October.

If you have children, make sure you talk to them early and often about the dangers of drugs. This website shares many personal stories of drug addicts and their loved ones. Because we all know that sometimes kids listen to others better than their own parents. Let’s tackle this problem together as a community. No more shaming and blaming. Drug addiction can affect anyone, and the reluctance to acknowledge and talk about that does nothing to help.