Board of Ed Proclaims October as Substance Abuse Prevention Month
In conjunction with the Presidential Proclamation, the Howard County Board of Education has proclaimed October as Substance Abuse Prevention Month in the Howard County Public School System. Click here to read the Presidential Proclamation. Click here to read the Board of Education's Proclamation.

Did You KNOW? 
Did you KNOW that 1 in 25 youth ages 12 through 17 has abused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient, and 1 in 5 young adults has abused a prescription drug?

Did you KNOW that prescription painkiller overdoses have more than tripled in the past two decades, killing more than 15,500 people in the United States in 2009 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention?

October is also National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. HC DrugFree, a proud member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and other CADCA members are promoting the message that over-the-counter and prescription medicines are to be taken only as labeled or prescribed, and that using such medicines to get high or in large doses can cause serious or life-threatening consequences. It also starts a conversation about safe disposal.

Every person can play a role in preventing substance abuse. Let's resolve to model a healthy lifestyle for those around us and talk openly with our youth about the dangers of drug and alcohol use.

KNOW What You Can Do in Howard County 
One of the best ways to prevent prescription medicine abuse is to remove unwanted and expired medications from your home.  Howard County residents can drop off medications at 3 locations in the County where permanent disposal boxes have been installed. Boxes are located at the Howard County Police Northern District Station (3410 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City) open 24/7, the Howard County Police Southern District Station (11226 Scaggsville Road, Laurel) open 24/7, and the Gary Arthur Community Center (2400 Route 97, Cooksville) open 7 AM to 9 PM Monday-Saturday, and 9 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

Coming soon: HC DrugFree has partnered with the Howard County Police Department to provide additional permanent medication disposal boxes in the County...Stay tuned for more details.  
"In the KNOW... About Opioid Misuse" Campaign - THIRD Video!
          Click above to watch the latest video

HC DrugFree is contracted by the Howard County Health Department to provide substance misuse prevention/educational services, with funding from MD Behavioral Health Administration and SAMHSA.
Deaths Mount in Maryland's Heroin Epidemic
In Maryland, as in the nation, heroin use has skyrocketed in the past decade. Heroin deaths have increased across age groups, races and gender, and in all regions of the state. In early 2015, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and created a task force to investigate the epidemic and bolster the state's response. Here, an ongoing series of graphics based on data from the Heroin & Opioid Emergency Task Force's 2014 interim report illustrate the heroin crisis in Maryland. Click here to read the Maryland Reporter's Capital News Service story.
Are You In the KNOW ... About Heroin?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heroin use has increased across the United States among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use:
  • Women
  • The privately insured
  • People with higher income

Not only are people using heroin, they are also abusing multiple other substances, especially cocaine and prescription opioid painkillers. As heroin use has increased, so have heroin-related overdose deaths. Between 2002 and 2013, the rate of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled, and more than 8,200 people died in 2013.


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Free Howard County Police and HC DrugFree Magnets 

HC DrugFree is proud to partner with the Howard County Police Department and the Howard County Health Department to keep important phone numbers on your refrigerator or file cabinet.

Email or call 443-325-0040 to request your magnet today!

Click here to read the magnet. 
HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC)
HC DrugFree's Teen Advisory Council (TAC) meets one Monday evening a month from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at The Barn (Oakland Mills Village Center) and is open to all Howard County high school students. The next TAC meeting will be held on October 12. Community service hours are available. For more information, please visit and go to the Teen Advisory Council page, or contact Joan Webb Scornaienchi, HC DrugFree's Executive Director at or  443-325-0040.

Free Training to Save a Life! Opioid Overdose Response Training
If your child, spouse or friend is abusing opioids (prescription pain medicines such as Percocet or Vicodin, and street drugs such as heroin), attend the free training offered by the Howard County Health Department. The next classes are scheduled for Monday, October 26 at 10:00 AM, Monday, November 16 at 5:00 PM, and Monday, December 14 at 8:00 AM, all at the Health Department. Register by calling the Health Department at 410-313-6202.
HC DrugFree's Newsletters are Now Archived
To read past issues of HC DrugFree's newsletters, go to and click on Resources - Newsletter Archive. 
If you would like to receive any of these free pamphlets, please send your name and address to

Si le gustaria recibir uno de los folletos gratis abajo, favor de mandar su nombre y direccion fisica a

For more information, contact
Joan Webb Scornaienchi,  Executive Director
HC DrugFree
Wilde Lake Village Center
5305 Village Center Drive, Suite 206
Columbia, MD 21044
Help us to be able to continue providing invaluable information and resources to the community - DONATE TODAY!  We thank you in advance for your support.
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