Talbot Goes Purple

The opioid epidemic comes with heartbreakingly large numbers.

70,000+ died last year in America.

750,000 died between 1999 and 2018.

128+ people die each day from an opioid overdose.

Drug overdose deaths remains the leading cause of injury-related deaths across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these deaths involved opioids, which include street drugs like heroin; synthetics like fentanyl; and prescription painkillers like Vicodin.

Recognizing an opioid overdose isn’t always easy, but there are some tell-tale signs like pinpoint pupils, losing consciousness, turning blue, cold and clammy skin, shallow and slow breathing, choking or gurgling sounds. If someone is experiencing an overdose, call 911 — DO NOT LEAVE, and start rescue attempts and administer Narcan, if available. Narcan is a medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.

There also are certain risk factors, such as previous overdose, recent release from an institution like jail, mental health diagnosis, and a history of substance use disorder treatment. And, almost half of all overdose deaths happened while a bystander was present, according to the CDC.

Tragically, three in five people who died from an overdose had an identified opportunity for linkage to care or life-saving actions.

There are multiple ways to help reduce the risk of overdose — for the general community, that includes education. Learn about the Good Samaritan Law, get trained on — and carry — Narcan, and if you know someone struggling with an opioid or other substance use disorder, help them find treatment.

If you’d like more information on preventing overdose, or on substance use prevention, treatment or recovery, don’t miss Talbot Goes Purple’s virtual event at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. You can get the Zoom meeting information on our Facebook or website, talbotgoespurple.org. Panelists include:

• James Carter, Peer Support Specialist, Talbot County Health Department Addiction Services

• Kelly Coble, LCSW-C, Program Director, Maryland Addiction Consultation Service (MACS); Program Director, Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care (BHIPP); Instructor, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.

• Katie Dilley, LCSW-C, Executive Director, Mid Shore Behavioral Health Inc.

• Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP, FASH, MACS Consultant; Director of the University of Maryland Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program; Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.

• Joe Gamble, Talbot County Sheriff.

• Julie Slivka, Family Peer Support Specialist, Maryland Coalition of Families.

• Beth Green Williams, Talbot County Health Department, Prevention Consultant and Talbot County Coordinator of the MidShore Opioid Misuse Prevention Program (OMPP).

Questions will be taken during the panel and prior to, via talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

Talbot Goes Purple is an educational and awareness prevention program that empowers our youth and our community to “Go Purple” as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse. The purpose of the program is to promote the “new conversation” – one that includes prescription drugs, alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarettes. TGP focuses on educating students about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, and works toward preventing kids from beginning to use these substances in the first place.

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.

More information about Talbot Goes Purple is available at www.talbotgoespurple.org. Find us on Facebook @TalbotGoesPurple or contact us at talbotgoespurple@gmail.com.

Talbot Goes Purple is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization — donations to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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