Frederick County is seeing an alarming rise in the number of overdoses
and fatalities related to heroin use. Between 2012 and 2013, heroin deaths
in Frederick County doubled from 10 to 21 fatalities. In 2014, that number
continued to grow to 27 deaths. This increase in heroin related deaths
is frightening, and many citizens of Frederick County are wondering what
can be done to combat this growing epidemic.
Many community partnerships have already been formed, such as the Peer
Recovery Specialist partnership between the Frederick County Health Department
and Frederick Memorial Hospital. Local events are taking place to combat
this growing issue including drug disposal events and regular meetings
of the Frederick City Heroine Strategic Planning Committee.
Governor Larry Hogan has established a strategic goal to reduce overdose
deaths by 20% by the end of 2015. According to Governor Hogan, “our
administration is committed to finding the best and most effective solutions
to this crisis, and our Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force is hard
at work developing comprehensive strategies to address this problem.”*
In Frederick County, County Executive Jan Gardner has formed a Heroin
Consortium to bring together many county agencies, non-profit organizations,
and other community partners to work toward effectively addressing the
substance abuse issues that exist today, and reduce overdose occurrences
and fatalities. This consortium will facilitate communication between
various non-profits, county agencies, and community partners, including
Frederick Memorial Hospital.
These partnerships encourage information and resource sharing, and produce
a unified response to the challenges facing Frederick County residents.
In 2015, the Frederick County Health Department started a campaign called
“Take Back My Life”, aimed at expanding awareness of the deadly
risks associated with prescription opioid and heroin abuse. This campaign
includes video footage of real people, located in the Frederick area,
who have experienced the impact of addiction—first hand or through
a family member. These stories expose the heartbreak and pain that heroin
and opioid addiction can cause, and their stories are being shared in
hopes of saving lives. Visitwww.TakeBackMyLife.org to learn more.
For citizens who need immediate help with substance abuse, please call
the 24-hour Crisis and Intervention Hot Line by dialing 211, or the Frederick
County Health Department at 301-600-1029. If there is a life threatening
emergency, dial 911.
For more information about the Heroin Consortium, contact Special Administrative
Director Margaret Nusbaum, Office of the County Executive, at 301-600-7700
or via email atMnusbaum@frederickcountymd.gov.
This post is part of COPE Corner, a blog series focusing on the efforts
of Team C.O.P.E.
In 2014, a team of nurses, case managers, and leadership at Frederick Memorial
Hospital began brainstorming ideas on how to combat the growing heroin
epidemic in Frederick County. From this brainstorm, Team C.O.P.E. (Caregiver
Outreach Providing Education) was formed.
Team C.O.P.E.’s mission is to education the public on the dangers
of substance abuse and ultimately decrease the incidence of heroin overdoses
within the Frederick community, and beyond. This team has dedicated countless
hours to researching all aspects of the growing heroin epidemic, collaborating
with community partners, and evaluating and evolving how care if provided
to these individuals at FMH.
To learn more about Team C.O.P.E. and their continued work within the Frederick
Community, search our blog for COPE Corner.
* To read more: