If you’ve been following me for any length of time then you know i’m in the state of Maryland quite a bit. I’m grateful I get to be apart of so many cause worthy events but man, the devastation in the state because of the opioid epidemic is still alive and causing pain across the state to all who apart of their communities. I was recently invited by the Washington Goes Purple initiative to be apart of their community event being held in Hagerstown. WGP is a group of people that have come together to create take back programs, host community events and create other avenues of help for community members struggling with opioid abuse. These people are the ones who have their hands full as they try to come up with ways to continue to ease the issues related to opioid abuse.
Currently the state of Maryland ranks in the top 5 for overdose deaths in the United States (https://www.drugabuse.gov/opioid-summaries-by-state/maryland-opioid-summary) and Washington County has the second high overdose rate in the state of Maryland (https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/washington-county-had-state-s-second-highest-increase-in-opioid/article_333920c7-1629-5fb5-8b2b-523c642f09e6.html) so being apart of the hard work WGP is doing to help the situation is beyond an honor. I was pleased to see the hundreds of people who showed up for the event, wearing purple and actively trying to be apart of the solution. There was things for the kids, photos booths and other activities for the people to be apart of while they were there. It’s not easy to get people to come out of their homes and be apart of these types of events because of the stigma that comes with addiction but that’s exactly why these types of events need to continue to happen. At the end of the day those who struggle with addiction are human beings and we need to have compassion and empathy for anyone who is struggling, especially with something like addiction where it does not discriminate, it can literally happen to anyone.
Despite all of the grim statistics concerning overdoses and opioids, which is mainly fentanyl in Maryland. They are seeing an overall decrease in opioid related deaths and that is a positive thing. The more backing people like WGP receive the more stigma related issues will be knocked down and community members equipped with the knowledge and ability to help decrease these numbers more and more as time goes on. (https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/washington-co-sheriff-disputes-fatal-overdose-numbers-as-md-sees/article_180679b5-fb0f-5daa-a2e4-8154f44771af.html)
Thank you everyone at WGP! I’m so grateful to have been apart of such a wonderful event!