Caroline County is Going Purple in September

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This September, Caroline County, in partnership with Drug-Free Caroline and other community stakeholders, will be launching “Caroline Goes Purple,” a month-long project to build awareness of the critical opioid epidemic facing our community.

“The crisis is real – and it’s here,” said Sheriff Randy Bounds. “This epidemic is like nothing I’ve seen in my law enforcement career. This drug does not discriminate and families from all walks of life are being hit hard. But we can’t fight this with arrests alone – prevention is the long-term key to success. That’s why Caroline Goes Purple is so important.”

Overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for those under age 50. In fact, overdoses kill more people each year than car accidents and homicides – combined. Four out of five heroin users started with recreational use of prescription painkillers. Seventy-five percent of teens say they can easily get prescription painkillers from a family member’s medicine cabinet. And in Caroline County, 5% of high school students report that they have tried heroin.

Join the Movement!

September is National Recovery Month, and its signature color is purple. For the month of September, we encourage all Caroline County residents to “Go Purple” in any way they can and to focus their attention on this issue their community is facing.

Go Purple! Light your home purple and think of creative ways your workplace or business can show support and raise awareness by Going Purple.
Spread the word! Share our educational messages on social media.
Talk about it! Engage in a conversation with your family about prescription drugs, and really listen to what your kids say.
Take action! Lock up your prescription drugs and safely dispose of ones you aren’t using. Get Narcan trained and carry it with you – you could save a life.
Join the conversation! Attend one our community conversations about the opioid crisis.

A Vital Community Conversation

The month-long awareness campaign will culminate with two community showings of the film “If Only,” which chronicles a teen’s pathway to addiction. This film addresses one of the most serious health issues facing our society today. Screenings will be held September 24 at North Caroline High School and September 27 at Colonel Richardson High School, both at 6:30 PM.

The screening will be led by the film’s Producer, James Wahlberg, Executive Director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. “Addiction touches every culture, every family, and ultimately every one of us,” Wahlberg said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to create a project that informs, educates and leads viewers to recognize the warning signs of opioid use and to participate in a solution.”

The event will include a talk from Wahlberg and from a local parent who lost their child to addiction, and the opportunity for questions. It will be followed by a free ice cream social, so families can continue the conversation about substance abuse. The event will also include a resource fair with more information on prevention and treatment and Narcan training. Free raffle prizes at each screening include a $250 Visa gift card, a Nintendo Switch, a Kindle Fire tablet, and gift cards including Google Play, iTunes, and Xbox.

“Every day our staff see families devastated by the opioid epidemic,” said Dr. Patricia Saelens, Superintendent of Schools. “Many of our students are from families experiencing addiction, and many of our parents are scared their children will succumb to drug addiction. We must work together to equip our students with the knowledge necessary to make good decisions. I strongly urge all members of the community to attend these presentations.”

For more information on Caroline Goes Purple, please contact Jennifer Farina at purple@drugfreecaroline.org or 410-479-0660.

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