Maryland, literally the most unified state in the country when it comes to tackling the opioid epidemic we are facing. Unfortunately, the devastation occurring in Maryland has really forced this to happen. When I finished up in South Dakota speaking to the hospital association I came home, dropped my bags, packed new ones and headed straight to Maryland. I actually went a day early so I could get some extra rest in downtown Baltimore. After getting some rest in Baltimore I headed over to Kent County where I would be doing several presentations.
Here is an interesting fact that I have found consistent when it comes to the Midwest and East coast versus the West coast. The West coast school system is usually less interested in giving the presenter ample time to give a quality presentation that connects with students leaving a deeper impact . They usually say, unfortunately we can’t give you more than 45 minutes and by the time students are in their seats the presentation time is right around 30 minutes, which literally is how long it takes to lay the ground work of my story. On the opposite side of the country they seems to understand the importance that real life experiences can provide their students and that making sure the presenter has all the time they need to impact their student body is a priority. This was exactly the case in Kent, there was some timing conflicts for the first two presentations so they decided to put them all in one and extend the time well over an hour and half.
This proved to be a great decision because the students were absolutely amazing and had so many questions after we filled up the entire time to present. After presenting to the students I was given an opportunity to speak on their local radio station that was hosted by the students on THEIR campus!! It was really incredible. They asked me a lot of good questions and let me open up more intimately about my message an my life work that I do around the country. See link below to listen to my interview
After finishing the interview I gave a presentation to community leaders about stigma related issues and what i believe is a proper social support system set up for those struggling with addiction. There really has to be a system in place otherwise those who are already feeling disconnected will not find a way to feel connected which is ultimately the key to them moving beyond their addictions and into healthy coping mechanisms that divert old self destructive behaviors.
You can read about my time in the eyes of Kent County here https://www.myeasternshoremd.com/kent_county_news/spotlight/hoffman-talks-mental-health-empowerment-in-preventing-addiction/article_593347c3-bbe5-5931-95fd-dd730dcad27e.html
Following my time with the community leaders I presented to the middle school students which went equally as well as the high school presentation. I didn’t get to stay long with the students after because I had a flight to catch immediately after that was going to take me to Texas, where I would drive off to Oklahoma to present.
I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone in Kent County for hosting me throughout the day and letting me share my message. Until next time!