Rockville Goes Purple

The Crisis

The opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Rockville Goes Purple is an awareness campaign alongside our county and state partners that seeks to shine the spotlight on the impact of opioid addiction and educate our community about the epidemic.

In 2018, the Mayor and Council formally joined other state and local jurisdictions to take legal action against drug manufacturers and distributors for their role in the nationwide opioid crisis.

The Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center reported in June 2020 that 561 people in Maryland died of opioid-related deaths during the first quarter of this calendar year. That number marks a 2.6% increase from that of the first quarter of 2019. The vast majority of the 561 opioid-related deaths involved the use of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug that dealers mix with narcotics.

Emerging evidence suggests that the isolation, economic impact, and disruptions to the drug trade and addiction treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic fuels the increase in opioid-related deaths.

Rockville is not immune to the ongoing crisis of opioid overdoses. Alongside our county and state partners, Rockville seeks to shine the spotlight on the impact of opioid addiction and educate our community about the epidemic. In the pandemic environment, education, awareness and diminishing the stigma of opioid addiction are more important than ever.

Let’s Talk About It

Join the Mayor and Council in recognized September 2020 as National Recovery Month. During September, the following “Let’s Talk About It” campaign activities aimed to diminish the stigma of opioid addiction, and combat the shame, embarrassment and isolation felt by those suffering from opioid addiction, and the public perception blaming opioid users for their addiction:

Purple lights, art installations and photos in memory of loved ones lost to overdose in Rockville Town Center raised awareness of the epidemic.

A Drug Take-Back Event at the Rockville City Police Station provided an opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs kept in the home.

Training to use the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan was offered virtually and free Narcan kits were distributed to attendees.

Runners, walkers and bikers completed a 5K route to raise awareness of the opioid crisis for the Knight Foundation’s virtual Race4Recovery.

Maryland Secretary of Aging Rona Kramer shared information about addiction among older adults in a Rockville 11 special interview available on the Rockville 11 YouTube Channel and cable Channel 11.

Journalist and author Beth Macy participated in a book discussion about her "New York Times” bestseller “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America”, sharing what she learned about the opioid crisis and the lives impacted.

How to Get Help

If you know someone fighting addiction, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services offers a 24-hour crisis center. It provides walk-in crisis services at 1301 Piccard Drive, in Rockville, and telephone crisis services at 240-777-4000. Visit the DHHS website for additional county-related resources, including substance-abuse screening and referrals, take-back locations for safely disposing of prescription drugs, and free Narcan training.