Did you know that over the past three years 272 Mid-Shore opioid overdoses were reported by Shore Regional Health-Memorial Hospital at Easton. (Source: The Beacon Report, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).
Mid Shore communities are increasingly facing new risks from marijuana, heroin and prescription drug abuse. The report adds that prescription drugs have become established as significant substances of abuse, alongside illicit drugs among young adults, with prescription opioids being the second most commonly misused illegal drug after marijuana among persons aged 16 to 25 years old in Talbot County. Between 2010 and 2014 clients in Talbot County reported that heroin as their drug of choice has grown 927%.
Users cut across all income levels, but for Talbot County, most of the users are young.
On April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Talbot County Department of Social Services will host a free conference, “Opioid Use Across the Lifespan,” featuring nationally-known guest speaker Tony Hoffman, Pro BMX Competitor and Recovering Addict.
The daylong event will be held at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton. Parents, teens, teachers, coaches, medical providers and anyone dealing with youth in our community are encouraged to attend. Some of the conference topics will include safe disposal of prescription drugs, drug abuse trends and prevention strategies, the use of NARCAN, available resources, and personal stories by local residents.
Tony Hoffman’s story is full of redemption as he has seen some of the highest highs and the lowest lows. His BMX career started in high school, as he was a top-ranked BMX amateur with multiple endorsements. As a native of Clovis, California, where he attended Clovis High School, Tony started drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and using prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin by his senior year. His life took a turn for the worse as he became addicted at such a young age, losing everything. In 2004 he committed a home invasion armed robbery and was ultimately sent to prison for two years in 2007. He began rebuilding his life’s purpose while he spent two years in prison.
Tony has dedicated his life to bringing awareness around the country, describing how dangerous prescription pill and heroin abuse are, as well as advocating a shift in thinking toward current addiction-recovery processes. He has been sober since May 17, 2007 and is the Founder and Director of The Freewheel Project, a non-profit organization that mentors thousands of youth through action sports: BMX, skateboarding and after-school programs. The Freewheel Project focuses on teaching children leadership skills and making healthy life choices, including substance abuse prevention, each year. In 2016 he also began writing his first book, entitled Coming Clean. He is a Former BMX Elite Pro and is currently ranked #2 in Masters Pro class, coaching in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games with Women’s BMX PRO, Brooke Crain, in his lineup.
Space is limited for the free conference and pre-registration is required. Call 410-770-5750 or email Lindsay.firstname.lastname@example.org.