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.

According to the Opioid Operational Command Center and Maryland Department of Health’s 2020 Annual Report on the crisis in Maryland, opioids were involved in 90.1% of all overdose deaths in 2020, a higher annual proportion than at any other time. The state saw 499 opioid-related fatalities last year, an increase of 18.7% from 2019.

In 2020, Rockville city police responded to 23 reports of heroin or opioid overdoses, an 8% decrease from 2019, and nine reports of heroin or opioid possession, a 47% decrease, according to the department’s annual crime report.

Let’s Talk About It

The theme of this year’s 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.

Join the Mayor and Council at their Monday, Aug. 2 meeting, when they will proclaim 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.

The Mayor and Council will host a showing and discussion of the HBO documentary, “The Crime of the Century,” moderated by Jonathan Novak, a former DEA attorney who took part in the documentary, Saturday, Sept. 18 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre.

Local artist Suzanne Firstenberg’s opioid-related exhibit will return to City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave., beginning Sept. 1.

A panel discussion with experts from a range of local organizations will begin airing Sept. 1 on Rockville 11 and the city’s YouTube channel, www.youtube/cityofrockville.

Other events will include a drug take-back day, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Rockville City Police Department, and trainings in the opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan.

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.