After a successful year of going purple, Rockville’s efforts to bring sustained, communitywide attention to the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses will continue throughout 2019, starting with two trainings on how to identify an overdose and use the rescue drug Narcan to reverse its effects.

The sessions will be conducted by the city, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council.

  • The first, from 7-8:30 p.m. will be held Monday, Jan 13 at the Twinbrook Community and Recreation Center Annex Building, 12920 Twinbrook Parkway.
  • The second, on Wednesday, April 15 will be held from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Lincoln Park Community Center, 357 Frederick Ave. Participants will receive a free Narcan kit.

To register, call 240-777-1836 or email OverdoseResponseProgram@montgomerycountymd.gov.

When administered, Narcan, also known as Naloxone, reverses the effects of an opioid over overdose. Rockville City Police Department officers have been trained in the use of Narcan and each officer has been issued at least two doses.

Over the coming year, Rockville Goes Purple will focus on youth in addiction awareness and prevention activities, as well as hold other events to spur community involvement in combating the opioid crisis.

Rockville began its awareness campaign after joining other state and local jurisdictions, in 2018, in legal action against drug manufacturers and distributors for their role in the nationwide opioid crisis.

In Fiscal Year 2019, Maryland spent $672 million to combat the opioid crisis. Of that, the state awarded $21 million in grants to local jurisdictions, including nearly $559,000 to Montgomery County for education and awareness campaigns, outreach and intervention programs, training in how to respond to an overdose, and law enforcement efforts to address the crisis.

Rockville is not immune to the ongoing crisis of opioid overdoses. From January to October 2019, there have been 49 overdose deaths and 320 non-fatal overdoses in the county.

“Rockville Goes Purple” formally kicked off in March 2019 with a program featuring Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player and recovery advocate who founded The Herren Project, a nonprofit serving individuals and families impacted by substance use disorder and the disease of addiction.

Also, in 2019, Rockville held an education forum and hosted expert panels; conducted trainings in Narcan and distributed Narcan kits; marked Overdose Awareness Day in August; welcomed the annual Race 4 Recovery 5K; and lit Town Center purple to mark National Recovery Month in September. For more information about the Rockville Goes Purple campaign, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/rockvillegoespurple.