Queen Anne’s County is taking a stand against opioid and other substance abuse with a new campaign this September. The campaign, QAC Goes Purple, is an awareness and prevention program that empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse. Starting September 1 and continuing through the month, the community is encouraged to display purple lights and wear purple gear to show support for the project.
Launched on the heels of a spate of overdoses across the county recently, QAC Goes Purple promotes awareness of the opioid epidemic. The project focuses on preventing the use of opioids through education and community support.
“I think the strength in this message is unity,” said Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Gary Hofmann. “This could be your child – your family. We need every business, every community member and every resident in the county to stand up and support this project.”
The project is based upon THP Project Purple, an initiative of The Herren Project that helps people struggling with drug dependencies. Former NBA player Chris Herren founded both projects after speaking to a high school about his struggles with drug dependency. He designated the color purple for his initiative.
Chris is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. on November 13 at Kent Island High School in Stevensville. This event is free and open to the public; no registration is required. In addition to the evening event, Chris is set to speak at two in-school assemblies that week. Those assemblies are closed to the public.
“I would like to thank Queen Anne’s County Schools, Dr. (Andrea) Kane (QAC Superintendent of Schools), and the Queen Anne’s County Drug Free Coalition for taking this huge step forward in combating the heroin epidemic through education and awareness of our students and parents,” said Jim Moran, county commissioner.
QAC Goes Purple is an initiative from the Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff and Queen Anne’s County Drug-Free Coalition, in partnership with the Opioid Intervention Team/QAC Department of Health, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools, Queen Anne’s County Commissioners and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.
Anyone wishing to join the movement can purchase purple gear and purple light bulbs at www.QACGoesPurple.org. Lights also will be available at Price and Gannon Ace Hardware Store in Centreville and Kent Island True Value Hardware Store in Chester.
Free vehicle stickers and window clings for businesses are available at the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce at 1561 Postal Road in Chester. The Chamber office is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, 9 a.m. to noon. Stickers and clings are also available at the Bay Area Association of Realtors at 126 Coursevall Drive in Centreville. Hours are weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More information is available at www.QACGoesPurple.org, on Facebook @QACGoesPurple or email QACGoesPurple@gmail.com. QAC is a component fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization – donations to which are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.