By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(July 11, 2019) Debbie Smullen from Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services in Berlin presented a Worcester Goes Purple campaign to the Ocean Pines Board of Directors last Saturday to “engage the community in preventing substance abuse and [promote] healthy life choices.”
“I could talk to you all day about the wonderful things that we do for the families and children of Worcester County, but I’m here this morning to talk about the ‘Worcester County goes Purple’ initiative,” Smullen said.
The campaign is supported by Worcester County school system, the Worcester County Health Department and Atlantic General Hospital, and receives funding from the U.S. Department of Health’s Heroin and Opioid Policy Development Grant.
“This year, over 100 Maryland citizens have already lost their lives to opioid overdoses,” Smullen said. “It’s important that we understand that addiction is a medical condition, and there is such a stigma involved with addictions that it does prevent people from seeking treatment, and it prevents families from getting the support that they need from friends … from the community.”
Smullen also encouraged everyone to properly dispose of unused prescriptions. Old and unwanted prescriptions may be safely discarded at the Ocean Pines Police Department on 239 Ocean Parkway, as well as at Atlantic General Hospital.
September is National Recovery Month, so Smullen encourages people in Worcester County to “go purple” in order to show their support. Ocean Pines residents may place Worcester Goes Purple yard signs, hang purple ribbons, or install purple lightbulbs.
“Because [Ocean Pines] is such an active community in Worcester County, you can really make a difference for this movement,” Smullen said. “Buy a purple lightbulb for the month of September … you can decorate with purple lights for Halloween, so that will be a perfect time to get set for this September.”
Upcoming Worcester Goes Purple events include a Saturday, July 20 motherhood walk with the Grace Center in Berlin, an Aug. 22 kickoff event at Shorebird Stadium in Salisbury, and a Sept. 7 Walk for Recovery with the Atlantic Club on the Ocean City Boardwalk.
For more information, visit www.worcestergoespurple.com.