Press Release, St. Mary’s County Health Department
LEONARDTOWN, MD (January 7, 2019) – The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) put out a call today for parents and guardians of children of all ages to test their new free online opioid education course. The organization is seeking feedback on how this resource can be improved before its official launch in February 2019.
There are now over 100 deaths per day in the U.S. from unintentional drug overdose and the opioid epidemic has been declared a national Public Health Emergency. The SMCHD designed and funded this course as part of the local response to the larger crisis.
The course consists of six modules:
- Understanding teen drug use and addiction
- Prevention conversations (for children of all ages)
- Preventing teen drug use: spot warning signs
- What to do if you think your child is using drugs
- Navigating treatment & recovery
- Responding to overdose
Each module corresponds to a response goal, which include preventing new cases of opioid misuse, improving early identification and intervention, and expanding access to services that promote recovery and prevent disease progression/death.
“Letting our community know how to prevent and address youth drug use is incredibly important in addressing our current drug epidemic,” said St. Mary’s County Health Officer, Dr. Meena Brewster. “This course helps parents and guardians understand the disease of substance use better. It also provides tools to help reduce the risk of their child developing an addiction or to improve the outcome for a child who may already be affected.”
The course is self-paced, free, and available online. The design allows participants to jump between modules and sub-sections as they like, so they can quickly access the ones most relevant to their circumstances. The SMCHD plans to officially launch the course in February 2019 and is currently seeking feedback from parents on how to improve the material and the overall course experience. Parents and guardians who want to participate and share their thoughts can visit: https://tinyurl.com/ParentOpioidCourse or www.smchd.org/opioid.
The Southern Maryland Chronicle is a local, small business entrusted to provide factual, unbiased reporting to the Southern Maryland Community. While we look to local businesses for advertising, we hope to keep that cost as low as possible in order to attract even the smallest of local businesses and help them get out to the public. We must also be able to pay employees(part-time and full-time), along with equipment, and website related things. We never want to make the Chronicle a “pay-wall” style news site.
To that end, we are looking to the community to offer donations. Whether it’s a one-time donation or you set up a reoccurring monthly donation. It is all appreciated. All donations at this time will be going to furthering the Chronicle through hiring individuals that have the same goals of providing fair, and unbiased news to the community. For now, donations will be going to a business PayPal account I have set-up for the Southern Maryland Chronicle, KDC Designs. All business transactions currently occur within this PayPal account. If you have any questions regarding this you can email me at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and I hope to continue bringing Southern Maryland the best news possible for a very long time. — David M. Higgins II