HC DrugFree, 2019-2020

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 1:19pm

Two Overdose Deaths In Howard County

On September 3, 2019, the Howard County Police reported 2 additional overdose deaths and another non-fatal overdose. The 2019 overdose count to date is 16 fatal and 113 non-fatal, for a total of 129. 

What can YOU do? Volunteer and support HC DrugFree as we educate the community. Together, we can save lives. 


Let's Clear The Air - Howard County Youth Are In Danger

HC DrugFree has been sharing information about the dangers of vaping for the past few years. Let's "Clear the Air" once and for all...Don't allow your teens to vape! We've been warning that it's only a matter of time until we hear horror stories. Well, we're now there with youth and adults being hospitalized due to vaping-related illnesses and deaths and the news will only get worse. 

Don't wait to discuss vaping with your children and loved ones. Knowledge is power. Don't assume they know about the dangers...don't assume they won't at least "try" it...and for sure, don't assume the expensive marketing aimed at youth (and adults) isn't working. 

HC DrugFree's Facebook page has links to many good vaping articles, click on the Facebook link to learn more.


HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council Is Open To All Howard County High School Students 

High school teens can earn community service hours through HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC). The first 2019-20 meeting will be held on Monday, September 23, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at The Barn (Teen Center) located in The Oakland Mills Village Center. Please RSVP to Admin@hcdrugFree.org.

TAC is open to all Howard County high school students (public, private and home school), but everyone must register. Forms can be found on the TAC page at http://www.hcdrugfree.org/teen-advisory-council-1/ or click here to print an application.

TAC provides the youth perspective to the staff and Board of Directors of HC DrugFree to increase the effectiveness of HC DrugFree's programs, newsletters, website, and other services. Encourage the teens in your life to join TAC where they will have a safe place to learn and discuss what is happening in and around our community. Questions? Call 443-325-0040 or email Admin@hcdrugfree.org. We look forward to working with your teens!


The Epidemic Outside Of School Hours: KNOW How To Invest In Your Kid's Future, This program is FREE and for Adults ONLY.

Long Reach High School is pleased to partner with HC DrugFree to bring Dr. Amelia Arria, Director, Center on Young Adult Health and Development at the University of Maryland School of Public Health to share her expertise with parents and other community members.

This presentation will focus on areas of concern for high school parents and the impact of substance use, particularly marijuana, on academic performance. Dr. Arria's research focuses on health risk behaviors among college students and how these issues interfere with academic performance.


September: National Suicide Month 

Since 2008, people around the country have observed September as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, raising awareness about suicide and providing education, support, advocacy and resources to those in need. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47,000 people died by suicide in 2017 and rates continue to increase. Click here to access a printable PDF of more information from the Maryland Department of Health. 

HC DrugFree's Executive Director, Joan Webb Scornaienchi will discuss vaping and what's happening in Howard County. She will also have a display for parents/adults to the view hats sold locally with hidden drug pockets and many other common household items used to hide drugs.

This program will be held on Tuesday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Long Reach High School Auditorium located at 6101 Old Dobbin Lane in Columbia. 

Keeping you In the KNOW...


Marijuana Warning For Teens And Pregnant Women

Recently, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned against marijuana use by adolescents and pregnant women. Azar referred to marijuana as a dangerous drug. The warning comes as legal marijuana has grown into a $10-billion industry in the U.S. with nearly two-thirds of states legalizing it, mainly for medical uses. An increasing number of states and localities are also allowing personal, recreational use.

Marijuana is harmful to the developing brains of teenagers and to the human fetus. There has been a three-fold increase in the concentration of the active ingredient THC in cultivated plants over the last 20 years. Click here to read the article.

The following information is from a recent press conference with the Surgeon General and shared by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).

  • Some state laws on marijuana have changed, but the science has not and federal law has not.
  • Marijuana is an addictive drug.
  • Between 2002 and 2017, marijuana use in the last month among pregnant women doubled.
  • In 2017, more than 9 million youth reported marijuana use in the prior month.
  • In 2017, new users between the ages of 12 and 25 rose by almost 30%.
  • There is no approved use for marijuana to treat any medical condition.
  • The science indicates the higher the THC concentration, the higher the risks.
  • Potency-related risks can lead to dependence and even, addiction, as well as mental health effects like anxiety, psychosis, depression, and suicide.
  • Youth who regularly use marijuana are more likely to show a decline in IQ and school performance and are more apt to miss classes and drop out.
  • Marijuana use during pregnancy can affect the baby's brain and also result in lower birth weight, a marker for early death and disability. 


Remove Unwanted/Expired Medication And Sharps From Your Home And Our Community

HC DrugFree and our partners welcome you to stand with us on Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at our next drive-thru medication and sharps collection to be held in the Wilde Lake Village Center parking lot. 

Bring your unwanted and expired prescription and over-the-counter medication and sharps (needles, syringes, and EpiPens). Tell others and please volunteer; we are looking for approximately 80 volunteers to join us that day.  

PTSAs/PTAs, scouts, teams, clubs, religious/community organizations, youth, senior citizens - everyone - welcome to volunteer. For more information, go to http://www.hcdrugfree.org/drug-take-back-day-1 or contact Admin@hcdrugfree.org or call 443-325-0040.


Need Help Fast? Dial 2-1-1, Press 1

In case of a behavioral health crisis, please dial 410-531-6677 for Grassroots Crisis Intervention or 211, Press 1. In case of an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.


Become An "Emotional Support Human"

Do you have a friend or family member going through a hard time or facing a mental health challenge? Be their Emotional Support Human! For more information, go to https://www.thehorizonfoundation.org/emotional-support-humans-wanted/.