Fed Up Rally held in Denton
DENTON — The third annual Fed Up Rally was held Friday, Aug. 31, to raise awareness about opioid abuse and encourage representatives to do what they can to bring treatment facilities, transitional housing and transportation to Caroline County.
“Caroline has an epidemic,” said Cathy Bowrey, rally organizer. “We need all elected officials to understand we have no facilities here.”
The rally was originally scheduled to be held behind Denton Elementary School, but had to be moved inside Next Generation Church due to storms in the area.
In spite of the last-minute venue change, turnout was strong for the family-friendly event, which also featured booths run by community partners, including the Maryland Coalition
for Families, Caroline County Public Schools, Choptank Health and the Caroline County Health Department, offering information on local resources; games; face-painting and live music, courtesy of Echoes of Mercy.
The rally also served as a kick-off event for the inaugural Caroline Goes Purple, a county-wide effort to raise awareness of opioid abuse throughout September.
Bowrey said she established the rally after she helped her two sons, both of whom were addicted to heroin, get sober.
“People were calling me, asking how I helped my kids, so I put this together three years ago,” Bowrey said.
One of Bowrey’s sons, Mark Nitsch, attended the rally to speak about his experiences.
Nitsch has been sober for about four and a half years, he said, after 20 years of using.
For the past few years, he has been sharing his story, through Celebrate Recovery, a faith-based program, and the Local Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council.
“It’s important because it lets people who aren’t aware know it’s happening,” Nitsch said of the heroin abuse epidemic. “And it lets other addicts out there know their story will matter.”
Nitsch said the most crucial need in the area is more beds for emergency treatment.
“Instead of having to wait days or even weeks, people should be able to get help right at that moment,” he said.
Terri Sprouse was at the rally handing out information about the new sober living residence, Riverside Rentals, she is opening in Greensboro with her husband, Gary Sprouse.
Sprouse said her husband is a physician who has seen first-hand the affects of opioid addiction in patients.
The new sober living house will be in a former hotel on Main Street in Greensboro, Sprouse said.
The hotel layout, with a private bathroom attached to each room, will allow the sober living house to accommodate both men and women.
Sprouse said the house will be for people coming out of a rehab program who are not ready to go back to living on their own.
“Thirty days (in rehab) is not enough time to change your habits, change your strengths,” Sprouse said. “You might be free from the drugs inside you, but you can’t resist temptation yet (to use again.)”
The sober living house will surround recovering addicts with like-minded people, Sprouse said, for as long as it takes until they feel ready to leave.
The house is on track to be open sometime this fall, Sprouse said. For information, visit www.liveatriversiderentals.com.
Information booths line both sides of a room at Next Generation Church during the Fed Up Rally, Friday, Aug. 31.
Mark Nitsch, a recovering heroin addict who has been sober for four and a half years, shares his story during the Fed Up Rally, Friday, Aug. 31.