The Opioid Epidemic – What you can do to help stem the tide

Recently, Dr. Michelle Taylor, OMPP Coordinator for the Frederick County Health Department, accompanied by Frederick County Deputy First Class Mike Davies, spoke to the Smoketown Rotary Club of Brunswick, MD about The Opioid Epidemic in the United States. I thought it would be a good idea to accentuate a few points that personally resonated from her presentation to help people better understand the action steps available.

Fentanyl is the cause of the escalation in death by overdose: Unlike heroin, which has a raw opium base that must be harvested in remote mountain valleys, fentanyl is made in clandestine labs using relatively inexpensive chemicals. Pure Fentanyl is about 100x more potent than morphine. Drug traffickers thrive on overdoses & death as the best endorsement of their product. Fentanyl (known as White House, Dynamite, Colt 45 & many other names on the street) is a 2018 focus keyword within the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.

People should store prescription pain meds in a secure location out of view & reach of others: Opioid addiction can cause users to try anything to get their hands on your prescription meds. Many individuals report that they obtain the misused prescriptions drugs from a family member or friend. This could also include individuals who complete work in your home or property. People can have easy access to your medicine cabinet and those medicines that may be on your counters or coffee tables. Remember to monitor, secure and store your medication properly to safe guard your meds.

Take advantage of a Free ‘Take Back’ Event near you: Eliminate the chance of your expired or unused prescriptions being misused or abused by disposing them at a local ‘take back’ event. There are also drop boxes located near you that provide expanded hours and days for disposal of unused prescription medication. Syringes and needles can safely be disposed at these locations.

You don’t have to be a First Responder to possess the power to save a person who has overdosed: It is still very important to call 911 if you discover someone who has overdosed. Good Samaritan laws protect you when you attempt to save someone. Free training is available to learn how to administer Narcan (Naloxone) Nasal Spray, which can reverse an opioid overdose while you wait for medical professionals to arrive. If you attend a training session, you will receive free doses of Narcan for use in emergencies.

View Dr. Taylor’s entire presentation at the following link: