Rockville is preparing to launch a sustained, communitywide effort to fight back against the crisis of opioid overdoses gripping communities across the United States.

The city’s awareness campaign will kick off at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre with a program featuring Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player and recovery advocate who founded Herren Project, a nonprofit serving individuals and families impacted by substance use and the disease of addiction.

A follow-up event on Saturday, March 30 will include a panel discussion of experts on the topic and training on how to respond to an opioid overdose.
Planning for the city’s efforts includes elected officials, city staff, physicians and community health leaders, youth and senior representatives – a recognition that it will take an ongoing, communitywide, multi-agency effort to raise awareness and combat the epidemic.

In June, Rockville’s Mayor and Council joined state and local jurisdictions in a lawsuit against drug manufacturers and distributors for their role in the crisis. To learn more, visit RockvilleReports.com and search “opioid lawsuit.”

Rockville is not immune to the ongoing crisis of opioid overdoses. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services reported 471 incidents from July 2016 through June 2017 in which emergency responders administered Narcan, a rescue drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, according to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

Look for more details about the March 7 kickoff and the city’s ongoing efforts to fight opioid abuse in “Rockville Reports” and at RockvilleReports.com in the months ahead.