Fed Up Rally held in Den­ton

Times-Record - - FRONT PAGE - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­record.com

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.

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