In their ongoing fight to bring awareness to the national impact of opioid addiction and signal hope for recovery, Rockville’s Mayor and Council proclaimed September as National Recovery Month at their Monday, Aug. 1 meeting.
Lights at City Hall, the Rockville City Police Department headquarters and other city and county facilities will once again shine purple throughout the month.
The theme of the campaign is “Opioids: Let’s Talk About It,” which encourages dialogue about, and openness around, the problems of opioid addiction, and awareness about the dangers of stigmatizing addiction.
According to the Opioid Operational Command Center and Maryland Department of Health’s 2021 Second Quarter Report, 1,217 people died from opioid-related overdoses in the state through the second calendar quarter of 2021, a 1.1% increase compared to the first six months of 2020. Opioids were involved in 89.6% of all unintentional intoxication fatalities over that period.
The Rockville City Police Department responded to 35 reports of heroin or opioid overdoses in 2021, a 52% increase from 2020, and three reports of heroin or opioid possession, a 66% decrease. There was one report of opioid sales.
The city will hold several events throughout September as part of Rockville Goes Purple, the city’s continuing campaign to highlight the nationwide impact and dangers of opioid addiction.
Events Throughout the Month Will Include:
Members of the Mayor and Council will attend the 7th Annual Montgomery County International Overdose Awareness Day and Resource Fair, which starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Memorial Plaza and County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe St.
Rockville Goes Purple will formally kick off 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 with an outside “Behind the Mask” art project hosted by VisArts at the Rockville Town Square plaza stage, 131 Gibbs St.
Members of the Rockville Mayor and Council and guests will speak, and attendees will be able to create art on two sides of a mask, representing the public and private aspects of addiction, and the need to discuss the struggle of addiction. The event will be led by an artist in recovery.
Bethesda artist Suzanne Firstenberg will bring her interactive “Protect Them” art installation to Rockville Town Square.
The installation will be open 4-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8; 2-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 9 and 10 and Sept. 16 and 17; and 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. Learn more about the installation at suzannefirstenberg.com/protect-them.
A “Reframing Recovery” art project will be projected from 8 p.m.-midnight, Thursday, Sept. 22-Monday, Sept. 26 on the windows of VisArts’ Studio 156, at 156 Gibbs St.
Other events will include a drug take-back day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Rockville City Police Department parking lot at 2 W. Montgomery Ave., and trainings in the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan.
Olympian Tony Hoffman to Talk Addiction for Rockville Goes Purple
Rockville Goes Purple will feature Tony Hoffman, who has been to prison — and to the Olympics as a BMX coach — will speak about addiction and recovery 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 at Richard Montgomery High School Auditorium.
Tickets are free, open to the public and available through Eventbrite.
As a dynamic speaker who has been featured locally, nationally, and internationally, Hoffman will share the tools he has learned and uses daily to address his recovery and physical and mental wellness.
“I share my story of going from all-star athlete to prison to the Olympics, my childhood struggles with suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression, the importance of balance in mental wellness and how trauma is a precursor to substance use,” Hoffman states. “I explain how addiction works and the reformation of my life, including setting goals, developing healthy coping skills and how healthy friendships helped me reform my life.”
Check the city’s online calendar at www.rockvillemd.gov/calendar for information as details develop. To learn more about the Rockville Goes Purple campaign, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/rockvillegoespurple.