If you think heroin is not in your community…think again. Take a good hard look at the map to the right and you will understand what we are facing.
Monday evening, a panel of X people assembled by the Annapolis Human Relations Commission and the Anne Arundel County Office of Constituent Services came to the Roger “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center to tell their stories.
Margie Kosmerl’s son Danny died of an overdose last December, she pledged to become an open book.
Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney, Wes Adams emphasized that the key part of fighting this epidemic is education.
Prevention Specialist with the Anne Arundel County Health Department, Sandy Smolnicky, said she was one of the lucky ones. Her two children are addicts and in recovery. She said the most important thing we can do as a community is to tell the stories.
Mandy Larkins, a Prevention Specialist with AAMC’s Pathways said to have the difficult conversations with kids. The younger the better. Explain that drugs are only taken with a prescription and according to the dosage on the label. It is never to early she said. Pragmatically, she warned parents to lock up all medicine. It might not be your kid, but it could be a friend, a repairman, or a neighbor taking two or three tablets at a time.
Melissa August was a young adult in recovery who recounted her days as an addict and the struggles she faced to get on the road to recovery.
Jen Corbin is a coordinator with the Mobile Crisis Unit who is ready to respond to a crisis 24/7. She cautioned that until the addict is ready for treatment, there is little that can be done other than respond.
Lieutenant Kevin Krauss of the Annapolis City Police Department recounted some sobering statistics–694 overdoses so far this year. 94 deaths from overdosing this year. He reaffirmed the need for the community to become involved. Narcan, a widely available opiate antidote is helping. Officers are armed with this tool and the public can as well. The Anne Arundel County Health Department offers free classes on the administration of the drug if needed.
For help, please call the Addiction Help Line at 410-768-5522
The town hall, opened with a viewing of “Not My Child,” an award-winning PSA produced by Anne Arundel County featuring Anne Arundel County residents.