Rockville Goes Purple

The Crisis

The opioid crisis is 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.

According to the Maryland Department of Health Data-Informed Overdose Risk Mitigation 2021 Annual Report, in 2020, there were 2,799 overdose-related fatalities, the highest annual total in the State of Maryland’s history to date. Additionally, there continues to be a growing disparity in overdose-related deaths in the Black community. Between 2016 and 2020, overdose deaths among non-Hispanic Black Marylanders rose by 64.5% as compared to deaths in the non-Hispanic white community, which increased by 15.3% over the same period.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that deaths from drug overdoses reached 107,622 nationwide in 2021, an increase of nearly 15% from the 93,655 deaths estimated in 2020, and 108,500 in 2022, “a staggering record that reflects the crisis and the continued spread of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in the illegal narcotic supply,” the proclamation states.

The Rockville City Police Department responded to 24 reports of heroin or opioid overdose in 2022, a 31% decrease from 2021, and three reports of heroin or opioid possession, the same number as in 2021. There were three reports of opioid sales.

Let’s Talk About It

The theme of the 2023 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.

In their ongoing fight to bring awareness to the national impact of opioid addiction and signal hope for recovery, Rockville’s Mayor and Council formally kicked off Rockville Goes Purple at their Monday, Aug. 7 meeting with the proclamation of September as National Recovery Month.

Lights at City Hall, the Rockville City Police Department headquarters and other city and county facilities will once again shine purple throughout the month.

2023 Events

Members of the Mayor and Council will attend the 8th Annual Montgomery County International Overdose Awareness Day and Resource Fair, which starts at 5 p.m. Thursday, August 31 at the Memorial Plaza and County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe St.

The Rockville City Police Department will host the Rockville Goes Purple Drug Takeback, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at the department’s headquarters parking lot at 2 W. Montgomery Ave.

Join Rockville City Police Department officers at the Rockville Senior Center from 1-2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27 to learn about opioids and drug problems in our community, and how you can help.

“Let's Talk About Recovery,” originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30 at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus, is postponed until further notice. Check this webpage for events throughout the year that address supporting those who struggle with substance use and mental health.

Bethesda artist Suzanne Firstenberg will place several art installations throughout the city. Learn more about her work at

Check the city’s online calendar at for information as details develop.

More information and events can be found on the Montgomery Goes Purple website.

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.

City of Rockville, Community Services Division

Education, information and referral