With pandemic ebbing, Wicomico health officials refocusing on opioid overdoses

Salisbury Independent
Posted 6/22/22

As Covid-19 cases are in decline, local overdose numbers are rising as the opioid epidemic persists.

According to health experts, it is important to remain vigilant in efforts to address the …

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With pandemic ebbing, Wicomico health officials refocusing on opioid overdoses

Posted

As Covid-19 cases are in decline, local overdose numbers are rising as the opioid epidemic persists.

According to health experts, it is important to remain vigilant in efforts to address the opioid epidemic in our community.

Agencies across the county formally met this spring to discuss new ways of fighting the opioid crisis. Those who attended included the Opioid Intervention Team, Wicomico County Health Department, Wicomico County’s Executive's Office, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Wicomico County, Wicomico Sheriff's Office, Maryland State Police, Salisbury Police Department, Fruitland Police Department and Wicomico County Emergency Services.

“Although we cannot be sure what has specifically contributed to the increase in overdoses during and post the pandemic, we know that lack of support systems, loss/change of jobs, added stressors, and limited access to treatment has made recovery much more difficult, and has led to relapses,” said Lori Brewster, Wicomico County Health Officer.

During the meeting, attendees discussed our community’s strengths in collaboration and learned about community resources in order to help those battling addiction.

Because many factors can contribute to overdose risk, the best approach is to reach individuals and connect them to community resources to help them break out of the endless cycle of addiction.

“Addiction is a symptom. Identifying and treating the root cause is key to sustainable success, for individuals and our community at large. There are trusted resources available. I encourage all who are struggling to reach out,” said Jaime Dykes, Wicomico County State’s Attorney.

Acting County Executive John Psota heralded the various groups for continuing to work together to to repeat previous positive strides to address the crisi.

“I am extremely pleased with the cooperation and information sharing between all of our agencies in an effort to combat the opioid crisis,” Psota said. “We will continue to collaborate to obtain additional resources for both mental health and substance abuse for Wicomico County.”

Officials said it is now more important than ever to remember that there are resources available to assist those battling the disease of addiction, as well as their family members.

Some of these resources:

  •  Wicomico County Health Department -- Contact the Local Behavioral Health Authority for a list of treatment providers in Wicomico County. Phone: 410-543-6981.
  •  Maryland Coalition of Families -- Dedicated to serving families with behavioral health needs, including mental health, substance use and gambling issues. Main office: 410-730-8267 or Email:info@mdcoalition.org.
  •   Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) – A partnership between Salisbury Police Department, State’s Attorney’s office, and Wicomico County Health Department to improve the quality of life for many of our most vulnerable populations with increased collaboration between public health and public safety. Phone: 443-210-2169 or 443-783-6875.
  •  Community Outreach Addictions Team (COAT) -- 24/7 access to peers in recovery assisting with linkages to resources and treatment for those battling addiction. Phone: 443-783-6875.
  •  Recovery Resource Center/Safe Station – RRC Offers meetings and support for those looking to start or continue their journey to recovery. Located at 726 South Salisbury Blvd. Suite E, in Salisbury. Phone: 410-749-9482. Safe Station, located in the RRC, is open 24 hours each day and links individuals battling addiction to appropriate treatment and recovery services. Phone: 443-783-6875.
  •  Shore Center - Supporting harm reduction, outreach, resources, and education open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone 443-210-2169.

Wicomico County Health Department also offers Naloxone training to the public. Naloxone, also sold under the brand name Narcan, is an opioid overdose reversal medication. For more information on Naloxone training, call 410-543-6981.

If you or someone you love is currently struggling with an addiction, please contact 443-783- 6875 or 410-543-6981 to obtain this medication, or contact your local pharmacy.

For more information about the opioid epidemic and local resources, connect with the health department at www.wicomicohealth.org or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram (WicomicoHealth) or Twitter (@WicomicoHealth).  

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