Herren to Tell His Story March 7; College to Host Panel and Training March 30

Chris Herren, former NBA player.

Rockville’s campaign to combat the opioid epidemic will welcome Chris Herren, a former NBA player and recovery advocate, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, 603 Edmonston Drive.

After his basketball career, Herren founded Herren Project, a nonprofit serving individuals and families impacted by substance use and the disease of addiction. His story has been the subject of an Emmy-nominated ESPN Films documentary.

Herren’s presentation in Rockville, Prevention Starts with All: The Chris Herren Story, will detail the former Boston Celtics player’s inspirational journey from addiction to recovery, and his mission to make a difference. The presentation is free and open to all.

The city’s efforts against opioid abuse will continue with a panel discussion of experts on the topic and free training on how to respond to an opioid overdose at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 30 in Room 301 of the Science West building at Montgomery College – Rockville, 51 Mannakee St. Admission is free. Visit www.rockvillemd.gov/registration and register for course #9455.

The panel discussion will include:

  • Raymond Crowell, chief of Montgomery County’s Behavioral Health and Crisis Services.
  • Kirk Knight, president, The Knight Foundation.
  • Jonathan Novak, attorney and former litigator for the Drug Enforcement Administration whose expertise includes advising clients on opioid and mass tort litigation.
  • Meghan Westwood, executive director of Maryland Treatment Centers, Inc.

Rockville police Chief Victor Brito will serve as moderator of the panel discussion. Partnering with Rockville to host the event are Montgomery College, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council.

Rockville’s Mayor and Council, city staff, and community partners are joining together to raise awareness and combat the epidemic. Rockville is not immune to the 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 county’s health department.

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, search “opioid lawsuit.”

This article has been updated.