Rockville Goes Purple

The Crisis

The opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Rockville Goes Purple is an awareness campaign alongside our county and state partners that seeks to shine the spotlight on the impact of opioid addiction and educate our community about the epidemic.

In 2018, the Mayor and Council formally joined other state and local jurisdictions to take legal action against drug manufacturers and distributors for their role in the nationwide opioid crisis.

The Maryland Opioid Operational Command Center reported in June 2020 that 561 people in Maryland died of opioid-related deaths during the first quarter of this calendar year. That number marks a 2.6% increase from that of the first quarter of 2019. The vast majority of the 561 opioid-related deaths involved the use of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic drug that dealers mix with narcotics.

Emerging evidence suggests that the isolation, economic impact, and disruptions to the drug trade and addiction treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic fuels the increase in opioid-related deaths.

Rockville is not immune to the ongoing crisis of opioid overdoses. Alongside our county and state partners, Rockville seeks to shine the spotlight on the impact of opioid addiction and educate our community about the epidemic. In the pandemic environment, education, awareness and diminishing the stigma of opioid addiction are more important than ever.

Let’s Talk About It

Join the Mayor and Council in recognizing September 2020 as National Recovery Month. Be part of the “Let’s Talk About It” campaign, aimed at diminishing the stigma of opioid addiction, and combating the shame, embarrassment and isolation felt by those suffering from opioid addiction, and the public perception blaming opioid users for their addiction. “Let’s Talk About It” by:

Reflect by visiting Rockville Town Center and the Montgomery County Veterans Plaza during the month of September to see the downtown lit in purple light and photos of loved ones lost to overdose. Bring friends and family to talk about the impact that the crisis has on our community.

Dispose of unwanted drugs kept in your home. Bring unused medication to the Rockville City Police Station parking lot at 2 W. Montgomery Avenue, on September 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Police Department will collect left-over, unwanted or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal. Talk to your family members about the dangers of prescriptions found in household medicine cabinets.

Save a life by learning how to use the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug Narcan, 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 22. Sign up for the virtual training session and receive a free Narcan kit.

Run, walk or bike to raise awareness of the opioid crisis. Encourage friends, family and neighbors to join a virtual 5K Race4Recovery on Saturday, Sept. 26. You choose the route and time of day, use the time to talk about how you can fight the stigma and create a safe space for dialogue about addiction. Online registration information will be available soon.

Tune in to Rockville 11 at the end of September to learn from Maryland Secretary of Aging Rona Kramer about addiction among older adults. The discussion will premiere on Rockville 11 YouTube Channel and Channel 11 on Sept. 28.

Read journalist Beth Macy’s “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America” and join Macy on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. for an online book discussion of her "New York Times” bestseller about the opioid crisis and the lives impacted. Register for the event online.

How to Get Help

If you know someone fighting addiction, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services offers a 24-hour crisis center. It provides walk-in crisis services at 1301 Piccard Drive, in Rockville, and telephone crisis services at 240-777-4000. Visit the DHHS website for additional county-related resources, including substance-abuse screening and referrals, take-back locations for safely disposing of prescription drugs, and free Narcan training.