There have been many articles published in Carroll County regarding the opioid epidemic that many of us face on a regular basis, especially folks that work in emergency medical services, and Rotary International is very concerned. Below are some statistics from a recent publication by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which show what's happening nationally.
• Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2015.
• In 2015, an estimated 21,000 adolescents had used heroin in the past year, and an estimated 5,000 were current heroin users. Additionally, an estimated 6,000 adolescents had a heroin use disorder in 2014.
• Heroin overdose deaths among women have tripled in the last few years. From 2010 through 2013, female heroin overdoses increased from 0.4 to 1.2 per 100,000.
This means that we, in Carroll County, are not alone in dealing with and helping those with addictions. The Carroll County Times recently reported that Carroll saw 25 heroin-related fatalities and 15 prescription-opioid related deaths in 2016, according to the Maryland Department of Health. There were 20 fentanyl-related overdose fatalities, according to the state data. The same article states that Carroll was still on pace to have more fatal and nonfatal heroin overdoses than in 2016.
At the mid-point of this year, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office was reporting 21 fatal overdoses related to heroin and/or fentanyl and at least 165 total overdoses related to opioids. Rotary International has taken on the opioid epidemic as a key area of concern, and is actively putting time and money to the problem. Hosting Opioid Addiction Awareness Forums is one of the District Governor's focus topics during the 2017-2018 rotary year. All are welcome. Each event has its own sign-up for Rotarians and non-Rotarian guests.
These events are free, but you need to RSVP. The next forum is at University Christian Church, 6800 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville, from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14. Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk, a member of the Joint Committee on Behavioral Health and Opioid Use Disorders, will speak. Parking is free.
For more information on how to register, email email@example.com.
As an example of how our club has contributed to local concerns, using the profits from our 2017 Rotary Roast, our club made contributions totaling $5,350 to community organizations including Carroll Community College Foundation, Target Community and Education Services, Change, Inc. and The Shepherd's Staff. Also, profits supported the Randy Rager Scholarship Fund for scholarships presented to deserving, local high school graduates, and to the Rotary Club of Bonds Meadow Foundation that helps fund service projects like a recent Rotary water project in India. We thank those who attended our roast. Your support made a difference!
Rotary International and our club are also very proud of the work that we have done to eradicate Polio, and our chapter is anxious to step up to the opioid challenge. Please contact us to attend the next forum, or would like to consider membership in our group. We are actively looking for those, who want to engage and embrace our community and the larger world.
The Bonds Meadow Rotary Clubs meets on Tuesdays from 7:15 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Carroll Lutheran Village, Executive Dining Room, Overlook Complex at 900 Mission Square in Westminster. For more information, contact Bob Jackle at 410-857-9055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest Carroll County Times Opinion
Each Monday, the Carroll County Times will publish a column from a local nonprofit, allowing them to share information about their organization and the issues facing it. To be considered, email email@example.com with the subject line "Nonprofit View."