Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office Launches New Campaign

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The Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office has launched a new campaign, ‘Talbot’s Got Heart,’ which includes screenings of the film ‘Written Off’ followed with free Naloxone training and doses at seven locations across Talbot County.

The next event is Wednesday, Oct. 25 at Queen Anne’s-Hillsboro Fire Department. Doors open at 5:30 and the film, which runs 117 minutes starts at 6 p.m., with a 30-minute Naloxone training immediately after. Each person or family trained will receive a free box of Naloxone, which includes two doses, along with a window cling.

Registration is requested and available at www.TalbotsGotHeart.org, along with a complete schedule of events. The events are in partnership with Mariah’s Mission Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

Commonly sold under the brand name Narcan, Naloxone is a life-saving medication that reverses an opioid overdose yet has no abuse potential. Available in Maryland without a prescription, side effects of Narcan are minimal and the medication is safe for children and pregnant women.

The film ‘Written Off’ is a powerful documentary that details the life of Matt Edwards, who lost his battle with heroin dependency. ‘Written Off’ is intended to help change the conversation about drug dependency, as told through Edwards’ personal journals. Edwards grew up in Wisconsin and his first high came from a doctor, prescribed for a botched toe surgery.

The film is not yet rated and does depict some drug use and contains some foul language, but there are no age restrictions on attendance. More information is available at www.written-off.com.

In addition to the community trainings, several ‘Lunch and Learn’ trainings are offered for local business owners and employees through the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.

Those trainings are scheduled from noon until 1 p.m. at the chamber office on Oct. 24, Nov. 8 and Nov. 30. Each session can hold up to 16 people. Registration is available online at www.talbotchamber.org or by calling the chamber at 410-822-4653.

Alexandra Duff, prevention coordinator with Talbot County Health Department administers the trainings. Funding for the Naloxone came from a state grant that provided resources for 266 boxes of the life-saving drug. Those boxes, combined with Duff’s existing supply amounts to 350 boxes available for trainings. With two doses in each box, the trainings will provide 700 free doses for our community.

“Last year in Maryland more than 2,000 people died from an opioid overdose,” Duff said. “This grant and campaign enables us to get 700 doses of this life-saving medicine across our county.”

Trainings include an overview of how to recognize the signs of an overdose; how to respond to an overdose; and how to administer Naloxone.

In addition, each training includes general information on Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law, which protects people who call 911 for an overdose from prosecution for certain crimes, and information on getting Naloxone.

Training certificates are good for two years. Renewal certificates do require a refresher course.

For more information on Naloxone or other substances contact Duff or Kirsten Moore, community health educator at 410-819-5600.

The Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community. Resources include parenting skills, video and resource loan library, awareness campaigns and educational workshops.

 Established in 2014, Mariah’s Mission Fun of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation is a non-profit that provides support groups and resources to empower families and individuals struggling with the effects of substance use disorder. Valerie Albee founded the fund in honor of her daughter, Mariah, who lost her life to heroin.

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