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 Opioid Operational Command Center and Maryland Department of Health’s 2021 Second Quarter Report, 1,217 people died from opioid-related overdoses in the state through the second calendar quarter of 2021, a 1.1% increase compared to the first six months of 2020. Opioids were involved in 89.6% of all unintentional intoxication fatalities over that period.

The Rockville City Police Department responded to 35 reports of heroin or opioid overdoses in 2021, a 52% increase from 2020, and three reports of heroin or opioid possession, a 66% decrease. There was one report of opioid sales.

Let’s Talk About It

The theme of the 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 proclaimed September as National Recovery Month at their Monday, Aug. 1 meeting.

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

2022 Events

Members of the Mayor and Council will attend the 7th Annual Montgomery County International Overdose Awareness Day and Resource Fair, which starts at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Memorial Plaza and County Executive Office Building, 101 Monroe St.

Rockville Goes Purple will formally kick off 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8 with speeches by Mayor Newton, Suzanne Firstenberg, and Judge Karla N. Smith, followed by an outside “Behind the Mask” art project hosted by VisArts from 5-8:50 p.m. at the Rockville Town Square plaza stage, 131 Gibbs St.

Members of the Rockville Mayor and Council and guests will speak, and attendees will be able to create art on two sides of a mask, an exercise about self-reflection, examining how one feels on the inside as it compares to what they show on the outside and how hard it is sometimes to show one's true self. The event will be led by an artist in recovery. Click here for more information about “Behind the Mask” on the VisArts website. Click here to register for this free event. We would like to thank the Local Behavioral Health Authority, Montgomery County DHHS, for funding 100 extra seats for the event.

Bethesda artist Suzanne Firstenberg will bring her interactive “Protect Them” art installation to Rockville Town Square. The installation will be open 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8; 2-5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 9 and 10 and Sept. 16 and 17; and 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. Learn more about the installation at

A “Reframing Recovery” art project will be projected from 8 p.m.-midnight, Thursday, Sept. 22-Monday, Sept. 26 on the windows of VisArts’ Studio 156, at 156 Gibbs St. VisArts invites individuals to submit photos, designs or artwork that address addiction and recovery. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Sept. 2.

Tony Hoffman, who has been to prison, and to the Olympics as a BMX athlete, speaks about addiction and recovery at Richard Montgomery High School Auditorium on Tuesday, Sept. 27 from 6-8:30 p.m. As an incredibly dynamic speaker who has been featured locally, nationally, and internationally, he will share the tools he has learned and uses daily to address his recovery and physical and mental wellness. More details can be found on the English and Spanish flyers for this free event.

Other events will include a drug take-back day, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Rockville City Police Department parking lot at 2 W. Montgomery Ave., and trainings in the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan. Register for training here.

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


Education, information and referral

Juvenile Assessment Center
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services

Substance abuse screening for children and adolescents

Montgomery County Behavioral Health Authority

BtheOne (suicide and substance use disorder prevention), KnowtheRisk (opioid awareness), Narcan Kits (rapid training), and various other educational information for programs

Mental Health/Substance Abuse Screening and Referral Program (ACCESS)
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services

Screening and referral for low income adults

Avery Road Treatment Center
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services

Resident addiction treatment for low income residents

Montgomery County Circuit Court Adult Drug Court

Comprehensive voluntary outpatient treatment program

Ashley Treatment Center

Inpatient and outpatient, adolescents and adults

Sandstone Care

Second Chance Care

Intensive outpatient for adolescents and young adults

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at Suburban Hospital

Outpatient addiction treatment and behavioral health services for adolescents and adults

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Addiction and Mental Health Center

Inpatient and outpatient for adolescents and adults