Town of Oxford supports TGP for third straight year

Town of Oxford supports Talbot Goes Purple for third straight year

Three years ago, the sleepy waterfront hamlet of Oxford didn’t have a prescription drug disposal site and it sure didn’t have purple lights illuminating the historic town.

Fast forward to this September and you’ll find not only a prescription drug disposal box at the police station, but also a sea of purple along Morris Street, and educational banners strategically spread across town.

Not only has the town embraced Talbot Goes Purple, it also has given financial support at the highest level each year since the program’s inception in 2017.

Gordon Frank, town commissioner for the past seven years, heard about the initiative when Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble and Lucie Hughes of Tidewater Rotary approached him about liaising for the town. Familiar with the opioid crisis from efforts at his church, Fronk didn’t hesitate.

“Joe told me his stories, which are very compelling,” Fronk said. “I said I’d be delighted to help, and as commissioner I took the idea to the town commission, and we became a sponsor that year.”

Fronk wanted the town involved not only as a sponsor, but also to buy purple lights and help spread awareness through channels like the town’s water bills. Those efforts worked.

“We had a tremendous showing,” said Fronk. “Joe and Lucie were very complimentary about the level of our activity. We are not quite as magnificent as what Easton Utilities did with downtown Easton, but it is remarkable, nonetheless.”

Remarkable, indeed. A simple search on Facebook produces photos of countless town buildings bathed in purple, including the fire department, town office, community center, and more. Not to mention the purple lights outlining boats along Town Creek.

“In our community, I’d say Talbot Goes Purple has had a significant impact,” said Fronk. “We don’t have as many school-aged kids but we have a lot of senior citizens who are succeptible to the use and over use (of prescription opioids) because of the benefits pain relief gives to those in pain through age and operations.

“We learned through this process that a lot of people who’ve had operations with prescriptions used some and left the rest sitting in cabinets. We’ve become more educated on the need to get those prescriptions out of our cabinets and into the dispensary that we now have.”

Purple sponsors, the highest level of support, give $5,000 or more to the program. Oxford again last year came in as a purple sponsor, donating proceeds from the sale of a town-owned vehicle. Then again this year, for an astounding total of $15,000.

“Talbot Goes Purple has certainly been constructive and heightened our awareness of addiction, and how to help someone,” said Fronk. “So, we stayed involved again this year.”

Oxford prescription drug disposal box is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or weekends by appointment. It is one of five disposal sites across the county.

OPTIONAL BOX:

Talbot County has five locations for year-round prescription drug disposal:

Talbot County Public Safety Center

115 W. Dover St., Easton

Hours: 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily

Maryland State Police Barrack “I”

7053 Ocean Gateway, Easton

Accepts medications 24 hours/day

Oxford Police Department

101 Market St., Oxford

Hours: 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays

Talbot County Sheriff’s Office

28712 Glebe Road, Suite 1, Easton

Accepts medications 24 hours/day

St. Michaels Police Department

100 S. Fremont St., St. Michaels

Accepts medications 24 hours/day

To dispose of unused, expired or otherwise unwanted medications, first remove any personal information from the prescription container. Then, simply drop the container into a drop box near you. Please, no liquids or needles. Drop offs remain anonymous with no questions asked.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 65 percent of people who misuse prescription painkillers get them from friends or family. Proper disposal of these medications, particularly opioid painkillers, can help reduce the likelihood of abuse.

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