Addict’s mother wants open talk about epidemic
ROCK HALL — A frank conversation about the opioid addiction crisis in Kent County, including resources for help and stories of hope, is being offered next week in Rock Hall.
Betty Ann Glenn, who identifies herself as the mother of an addict, is the lead organizer of the Wednesday, Oct. 25 meeting at the Rock Hall firehouse. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. and is open to the public. There is no cost. Food and beverages will be provided, courtesy of local churches and businesses.
The flyer that Glenn has been distributing is titled, “The secret that kills.”
She said her primary goal is to get people talking about the opioid scourge and “to keep the conversation going.”
There also is series of forums on the opioid epidemic that began this week and will continue early next month. These community forums are being held by the Kent County Local Drug and Alcohol Council.
Kent County has had 13 reported opioid overdoses and one death in 2017. The Rock Hall area has been hit particularly hard by what officials have acknowledged as an epidemic; the one overdose death in 2017 was a Rock Hall man, Glenn said.
Last year in Kent County there were 19 reported overdoses and five deaths.
The Oct. 25 meeting in Rock Hall is the second drug awareness program Glenn has organized. About 175 people attended the June 2016 program, she said.
Invitations to the Oct. 25 meeting have been sent to all members of the local law enforcement community — police, prosecutors and judges.
Speakers will include Tim Dove, the local addictions authority for Kent County; Dr. John Moser, a general practitioner who treats many addicts; Dr. Raymond Truex, who works with physicians who are in recovery; and Dr. Ben Kohl of Eastern Shore Psychological Services.
The most compelling speaker might be Rock Hall teenager Gabby Nordhoff, 13, who will talk about her experiences as the child of addicts.
A question-and-answer period will follow the speakers.
There also will be a discussion of resources available for addicts and their families.
Kent County Behavioral Health will provide free training on-site in the use of the opioid overdose reversal medication Naloxone, which is sold under the brand name Narcan. The training will take about 15 minutes. Glenn said doses of Narcan nasal spray will be distributed upon request at the meeting.
The Kent County Local Drug and Alcohol Council started holding a series of community forums this week on the heroin epidemic. The first were held Monday in Galena and Wednesday in Chestertown.
The Betterton fire hall will host a forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2. The final one on the schedule is 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the Millington fire hall.
According to a flyer, participants will learn about the warning signs of addiction in loved ones, who to call for help and treatment options and usage trends and prevention strategies. They will hear about the life of an addict in recovery, receive Narcan training and have the opportunity to talk with local treatment providers.