Ad­dict’s mother wants open talk about epi­demic

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By TR­ISH MCGEE pm­cgee@thekent­coun­tynews.com

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.

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