Rockville Goes Purple

The Crisis

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in response to the opioid crisis in March 2017.

While the rate of increase in the overall number of opioid-related fatalities has slowed, “fatalities continue to increase in Maryland,” according to a 2018 annual report from the state’s Opioid Operational Command Center. “In 2018, 2,114 of our family members, friends, and neighbors died from opioid overdose.”

In Fiscal Year 2019, Maryland spent $672 million to combat this crisis. Of that, the state awarded $21 million in grants to local jurisdictions, including nearly $559,000 to Montgomery County for education and awareness campaigns, outreach and intervention programs, training in how to respond to an overdose, and law enforcement efforts to address the crisis.

Rockville is not immune to the ongoing crisis of opioid overdoses. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services reported 471 incidents from July 2016 through June 2017 in which emergency responders administered Narcan, a rescue drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, according to the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services.

What Rockville is Doing

Rockville is engaged in a sustained, communitywide effort to fight back against the crisis of opioid overdoses gripping communities across the United States.

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.

All Rockville City Police Department officers have been trained in the use of the lifesaving prescription drug Narcan and each officer has been issued at least two doses.

In March 2019, the city kicked off the Rockville Goes Purple campaign with two free community events: Prevention Starts with All, a presentation by Chris Herren, a former NBA player and recovery advocate; and a panel discussion of experts and training on how to respond to an opioid overdose, in partnership with Montgomery College, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council.

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.