There were 46 deaths due to drugs and/or alcohol in Carroll County in 2016. Through April, there have been 19 deaths in 2017, 11 of which were due to heroin or other opioids, according to the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.
Tim Weber, drug education and treatment liaison with the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office, would like to invite anyone touched by this epidemic who would like to make a gesture of solidarity with the victims and defiance of death to the second annual Say No To Dope Walk on Saturday, May 20.
"It's just kind of to bring people together, to literally make a stand that we are tired of it," Weber said. "We are tired of the overdoses, we are tired of the drugs on the corner, we are tired of the deaths."
This is a free walk event beginning at 9:30 a.m. — the walk itself begins at 10 a.m. — in front of the Triangle Recovery Club, 2 North Court St., Westminster, and ends around 11:30 a.m. at 55 North Court St. No registration is required; just show up and walk.
"We will walk, single file, with our signs down Main Street. It's really impressive," Weber said. "We walk back up Main Street and end on the court house steps. If anybody would like to say something, they can stand on the court house steps and say a few words."
Weber works as the drug education and treatment liaison with the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office, but the walk is a personal creation. In recovery for addiction himself, Weber saw a TV program on Safe Streets, Baltimore City's violence and drug intervention program and thought a walk could accomplish something similar in Westminster.
"People just jumped on board," he said. "We had a couple of hundred people turn out and there was actually a little bit of snow last year."
He hopes this year, with better weather predicted and more word of mouth, will make an even larger statement.
"People seem really pumped about it," Weber said. "We have people making signs, we have people bringing ribbons. It's really grown."