On Wednesday, August 31st, Howard County held an International Overdose Awareness event at St.Johns Episcopal Church in Ellicott City to recognize those who have overdosed or been affected by opioid misuse . Many organizations were present. The event offered different resources, including Naloxone Training, an Overdose Response Demonstration, and a Program of Celebration.
I represented HC DrugFree alongside six high school students around the County. As volunteers, we distributed event programs, encouraged people to sign up for our newsletter, and passed out fliers to promote some of HC DrugFree’s upcoming events and classes. Despite the students bein g strangers to each other, they quickly bonded about being juniors or seniors, the challenges of math classes, and experiences at their respective schools.
It was a neat experience to have different parents and adults come toward our table and ask about our organization’s mission and the education and resources HC DrugFree offers. The teens and I enjoyed having parents and County officials approach us and thank us for serving as volunteers and setting an example for other young people in the community. In addition, it was amazing to see various health organizations and community members unite to raise awareness about opioid use and advocate for those struggling and families who have lost loved ones to drug poisoning. Special events like this highlight the importance of partnering to destigmatize opioid misuse and overdose, normalize the conversation and offer encouragement to those struggling or in recovery. I encourage more high school students to volunteer with HC DrugFree to meet other friendly and dedicated teens and have meaningful interactions with people in our community.