A Talbot Goes Purple event about the fentanyl crisis and how it is affecting our youth is set for 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 22 at the Easton Volunteer Fire Department.
The free event opens with a screening of the documentary, ‘Dead on Arrival,’ from the Alexander Neville Foundation. This 20-minute film overviews fentanyl’s deadly role in the illicit drug market, and explores four families who lost loved ones to the powerful synthetic opioid. These surviving parents started V.O.I.D. (Victims of Illicit Drugs), a foundation dedicated to spreading awareness and educating others to prevent future lives lost.
After the film, Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble will give a brief overview of the fentanyl crisis, in particular the latest trends on fake pills and our youth. Gamble also will answer any questions.
“2021 was the deadliest year for drug overdoses in the history of our country,” said Gamble. “Parents need to stay informed of the latest drug trends if their families are to have a fighting chance against the onslaught of illegal drugs funneling into our country. Get the facts, get involved and get talking to your loved ones. Hope to see you on March 22nd!”
The event will include free light refreshments, courtesy of Jason’s Computer Services, and will conclude with free Narcan available for anyone who completes a brief training session. This free Narcan is made possible through our partners at Maryland Peer Advisory Council (MCAP).
MCAP also has supplied Narcan for TGP’s Operation Save a Life program, which is available to local businesses, non-profits and other organizations. This program involves mounting an overdose response wall kit at local businesses, in an effort at having the opioid overdose response medicine at every business across the county.
According to the latest data from the state department of health, 2020 saw the most recorded overdose deaths to date in Maryland and across the nation. Fentanyl accounted for almost all – 93%, of all opioid-related deaths in Maryland that year. And nationwide, 11 people died of an overdose each hour of each day in 2020.
Maryland’s department of health recently released preliminary overdose totals for the first two quarters of 2021, with 1,217 opioid-related deaths, of which 1,129 involved fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, similar to heroin, that is used to treat severe chronic pain. Dosed in several forms, the drug is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 25 to 50 times stronger than heroin. Fentanyl has become the most widely used synthetic opioid in medicine, but illicit use has surged in the past few years.
Fentanyl is almost always mixed with something else – heroin, pills, cocaine, and is increasingly found in fake prescription pills.
Unsuspecting teens can easily order pills online, using social media platforms like Snapchat, without realizing the fake pills are deadly. ‘Fentapills,’ or fake prescriptions pills that are made of fentanyl, have flooded the illicit drug market. These pills can kill with just half a dose. More information is available at www.songforcharlie.org, a family run non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about fentapills.
For more information on resources in Talbot County, including the free, interactive treatment locator tool, visit www.TalbotGoesPurple.org. For information on Operation Save a Life or the upcoming event, contact [email protected].
Talbot Goes Purple is a substance use prevention initiative geared toward helping kids stand up against substance abuse. Now entering year six, the initiative helps young people learn that they do not need substances to meet life’s challenges. Talbot Goes Purple includes school-based student clubs, outreach and education activities, and community engagement events.
An initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools, Saints Peter & Paul School and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Talbot Goes Purple empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse.