Talbot County is “Going Purple” in September. No, it’s not a bunch of Ravens fans, but folks showing their support to end substance abuse in the community and beyond. Talbot Goes Purple is an initiative from the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office and Tidewater Rotary, in partnership with Talbot County Public Schools and Mid-Shore Community Foundation. It is a substance abuse awareness program that will engage our community and youth to stand against substance abuse.
The project is based upon THP Project Purple, an initiative of The Herren Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation established by former NBA basketball player Chris Herren, that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction.
Today, Chris Herren, a former player for the Boston Celtics, is motivational speaker, author and sobriety advocate that assists individuals and families struggling with addiction through treatment navigation, education and mentoring. Chris will speak to the community on Tuesday, September 19 at Easton High School at 7 p.m. Earlier in the day, Chris will be addressing students in two assemblies.
The Herren Project’s Project Purple initiative goals are to create awareness and educate the public on the epidemic of substance abuse while encouraging teens and people of all ages to make positive decisions and stand up to drugs and alcohol. The concept was developed when Chris, who struggled with substance abuse throughout his basketball career, spoke at a local high school. In the front row, students were wearing purple shirts. After Chris shared his story, one of the girls in a purple shirt raised her hand and stood up to speak. As snickering and laughter could be heard in the auditorium, the student said, “Thank you Mr. Herren for validating what we do. We are the sober students of this high school and each year we take a pledge to not use drugs or alcohol.” Chris was captured by the courage it took to not only stand up and share the symbolism of the purple shirts, but was inspired to make a difference amongst adolescents across the United States.
By “Going Purple,” the community can make a difference, celebrating life and supporting one another. For more information, visit www.THPprojectpurple.org or www.theherrenproject.org. To learn how to support the initiative locally, visit www.talbotgoespurple.org.
Free Narcan training and dose 410-819-5600
“Eight percent of our Talbot County high school seniors have tried heroin. We’ve got to change that,” according to Joe Gamble, Talbot County Sheriff.
“We preach to our kids not to text and drive, not to drink and drive – but not many people talk about the dangers of prescription painkillers,” said Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. “We’re in the middle of the deadliest drug epidemic in our history – and much of our heroin problem is driven by pill use. Talbot Goes Purple helps start a new conversation about this, while empowering our kids to make good choices.”
Unique Partnership Helps Save Lives in Talbot County
The Talbot County Chamber of Commerce and the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office have partnered to provide Naloxone training to local businesses starting in October.
Naloxone is a life-saving medication that reverses an opioid overdose yet has no abuse potential. Side effects are minimal and the medication is safe for children and pregnant women.
Local business owners and employees are invited to a series of chamber ‘Lunch and Learns,’ which provide a unique opportunity for training during a weekday lunch hour. Training takes about 30 minutes and participants will receive a free box of Naloxone, with two doses in each box. Businesses that have staff trained will receive a window cling that shows customers that a business has had Naloxone training.
Each business trained will receive one free box of Naloxone, but may have as many employees trained as desired.
The first trainings are scheduled from noon until 1 p.m. at the chamber office on Oct. 5, Oct. 24, Nov. 8 and Nov. 30. Each session can hold up to 16 people. Registration is available online at www.talbotchamber.org or by calling the chamber at 410-822-4653.
“The Talbot County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff welcome the opportunity to partner with the Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office to offer Naloxone training for local business men and woman,” said Al Silverstein, President & CEO Talbot County Chamber. “Our organization supports all efforts to combat the epidemic use of both legal and not-legal drugs. We know this training will prepare our participating members so that they can be in a position to save a life.”
Alexandra Duff, prevention coordinator with Talbot County Health Department administers the trainings. Funding for the Naloxone came from a state grant that provided resources for 266 boxes of the life-saving drug. Those boxes, combined with Duff’s existing supply amounts to 350 boxes available for trainings. With two doses in each box, the trainings will provide 700 free doses for our community.
“Last year in Maryland more than 2,000 people died from an opioid overdose,” Duff said. “This grant enables us to get 700 doses of this life-saving medicine across our county, and this partnership with the chamber is invaluable in helping reduce opioid deaths in our county.”
Trainings include an overview of how to recognize the signs of an overdose; how to respond to an overdose; and how to administer Naloxone.
In addition, each training includes general information on Maryland’s Good Samaritan Law, which protects people who call 911 for an overdose from prosecution for certain crimes, and information on getting Naloxone.
Training certificates are good for two years. Renewal certificates do require a refresher training course.
Duff also is working with the firehouses in Talbot County to schedule additional trainings, starting in October. For more information on Naloxone or other substances contact Duff at 410-819-5600.
Naloxone, commonly sold under the brand name Narcan is available without a prescription in Maryland. Cost varies based upon insurance coverage.
The Talbot County Health Department Prevention Office helps community groups, agencies and individuals in providing programs and activities to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, and to build a healthier community. Resources include parenting skills, video and resource loan library, awareness campaigns and educational workshops.