Living in Northeastern Maryland, I am reminded every day of how fortunate we are to call this beautiful region our home. As the senior commander at Aberdeen Proving Ground, however, I am extremely concerned about the impact the nation’s opioid crisis is having here in our communities.
This public health emergency is unlike any other that our region has experienced. I want the residents of Harford County to know that APG is committed to working with local leaders in their efforts to turn the tide of this crisis.
APG has been engaged in the opioid issue since I assumed command in April 2017. A focal point of our recent efforts was the National Opioid Crisis Community Summit we held at APG in September, which brought together more than 300 local leaders. Thanks to the summit, APG’s Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense is working with academia to examine how to use the anti-opioid medication Narcan in community and military working dog populations for treatment following opioid exposure.
APG is also home to several other organizations with unique capabilities and expertise, including the Army Public Health Center and the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center. APG is committed to using these assets to assist the efforts of our local leaders in any way possible. I also want to make you aware of APG’s efforts that you can take part in.
I invite everyone to join us for APG Discovery Fest, taking place at APG on Saturday, April 21, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s free and open to the community. In addition to a day of family fun, we will assist local authorities in distributing 100,000 disposal pouches that deactivate unneeded drugs for safe disposal at home. Many opioid addictions begin when individuals gain access to these unused painkillers. Visit the APG Facebook page for more information on APG Discovery Fest.
In support of the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, APG will also participate in an opioid awareness campaign with the Aberdeen Iron Birds during baseball season.
I know how seriously the people of Harford County take this problem. I applaud the efforts of Harford County, which has been a national leader in implementing a successful drug take-back program.
Winning this fight will require the participation and commitment of everyone in our community. And while it may feel hard to navigate through the fog and pain this crisis has inflicted, I am confident that by working together, we can and will see victory.
Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor
Aberdeen Proving Ground