The St. Mary’s County Health Department, in partnership with the St. Mary’s County Library, Walden Behavioral Health and other local organizations will be presenting a six part series on the Opioid Epidemic. Held every-other Thursday at the Lexington Park Library from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. starting January 11 (January 11 and 25, February 8 and 22, and March 8 and 22).

On February 8 and March 22, there will be special teen sessions of the learning series.

Registration is suggested for these events. Click on the date to register.

January 11, 2018
The first of the Opioid Learning Series and a kickoff event. In an effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse, the FBI and DEA have released “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict,” a documentary that explores the dangers of addiction. This session will feature a screening of this powerful documentary followed by a guided discussion on the opioid epidemic.

January 25, 2018
The second in the Opioid Learning series, this session will explore the opioid epidemic in St. Mary’s County. Local data, prevention and response efforts will be shared by Dr. Meenakshi G. Brewster, MD, MPH, FAAFP, St. Mary’s County Health Officer.

February 8, 2018
The third session of the Opioid Learning Series will discuss Prevention and Recognition. Learn about detecting the signs of addiction.

February 8, 2018
A special session of the Opioid Learning Series for teens about Prevention and Recognition. Learn about recognizing when a friend is in trouble and what to do.

February 22, 2018
The fourth session of the Opioid Learning Series will discuss Stigma. What is stigma – How does it impact access/utilization of treatment resources/create barriers. Shared experiences from family members.

March 8, 2018
The fifth session of the Opioid Learning Series will discuss Treatment. This session will provide an overview of the different levels of treatment that are available for substance abuse disorders and will provide information on how to access these services in St. Mary’s County.

March 22, 2018
The sixth and final session of the Opioid Learning Series will include a brief overview entire Series, followed by information for community members on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose. Participants in this session will learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose, the importance of calling 9-1-1 in medical emergencies, as well as how to administer naloxone and care for someone until emergency help arrives. Participants will also receive a free rescue kit that includes naloxone (Narcan®), a life-saving medication that may be able to restore the breathing of a person who has overdosed on heroin, fentanyl, or a prescription opioid drug like oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, or methadone.

March 22, 2018
A special teen session of the Opioid Learning Series where teens will learn about peer intervention strategies, how and when to seek help, what to do if you see an overdose, and more.

Graphic courtesy of US Department of Health and Human Services