• / Prevention

Prevention

 Decisions Matter
Addiction is a Disease. Recovery is a Decision. Decisions Matter

Treatment is Available


If you or someone you know struggles with substance abuse, treatment is available locally.
Contact the Worcester Addictions Cooperative Services Center at 410-213-0202 for more information.

 
Entering adulthood can be an emotional time, but sometimes the ups and downs can mean something more.
Millions of young adults are living with a mental or substance use disorder and many either do not realize they have one or are not paying attention to the signs and not seeking help. In fact, of the 8.9 million young adults who reported having a mental illness in 2018, more than 2 in 5 went untreated and of the 5.1 million with a substance use disorder, nearly 9 in 10 did not get treatment.

It is important to remember that asking for help is a normal part of life, and you should never feel like you have to take on the world alone. If you are concerned that you or someone in your life may be drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with mental illness, there are resources available to help.

Click the image below to learn more about the signs of addiction and how to get help.
 
  

Throw out expired medications
 
Most opioid abusers don’t begin with heroin and instead start by misusing prescription opioids like painkillers which may only require a trip to the family medicine cabinet. It is vital for parents and guardians to realize that even if their doctor prescribed it, an opioid can be dangerous and addictive if misused. Medicine cabinets need to be monitored and expired prescriptions disposed of safely. There are three medicine drop-boxes across Worcester at both the northern and southern ends of the county.       
 
Click to learn more about drug abuse and addiction.
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Naloxone Can Reverse Overdoses and Save Lives      
   
Worcester County Health Department offers Naloxone trainings for free to all interested community members across the county. Trainings are held at 6 p.m. the 4th Wednesday of every month at the Ocean Pines Library and offered in Snow Hill every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. If you would like to attend a free Naloxone training or learn more, please call the Worcester County Health Department at 410-632-0056.
 
 Binge Drinking Risks
 
According to the CDC, binge drinking is a serious but preventable public health problem.

Binge drinking is the most common, costly, and deadly pattern of excessive alcohol use in the United States. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks or women consume 4 or more drinks in about 2 hours. Most people who binge drink are not alcohol dependent.
 
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.

1 in 6 adults binge drink.

Binge drinking is most common among younger adults aged 18–34 years, but more than half of the total binge drinks are consumed by those aged 35 and older.

Binge drinking has serious risks.

• Unintentional injuries such as car crashes, falls, burns, and alcohol poisoning.
• Violence including homicide, suicide, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault.
• Sexually transmitted diseases.
• Unintended pregnancy and poor pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriage and stillbirth.
• Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and liver disease.
• Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
• Memory and learning problems.
• Alcohol dependence.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

• Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or the person cannot be roused
• Vomiting
• Slow or irregular breathing
• Hypothermia or low body temperature, bluish or pale skin

Alcohol poisoning can lead to permanent brain damage or death, so a person showing any of these signs requires immediate medical attention. Don’t wait. Call 911 if you suspect alcohol poisoning.
(Source: CDC)
(Source: NIH – National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism)
 
 
 
Dangers of Vaping
 
  • The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults.
  • Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s.1
  • E-cigarettes can contain other harmful substances besides nicotine.
  • Young people who use e-cigarettes may be more likely to smoke cigarettes in the future.

Click the image below to learn more about vaping. 

 

 
 
Tobacco 21
 
 
Click below to learn more about changes to Maryland's tobacco and vaping purchasing laws (effective October 1, 2019)
 


Maryland 2-1-1
 

From the MD 2-1-1 website: Every hour of every day, people need essential human services. They are looking for help finding affordable housing, food, employment training, utility payment assistance, services for their children or aging parents, and many other issues.
 
2-1-1 Maryland is a partnership of four agencies working together to provide simple access to health and human services information. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects people with important community services. Our specially trained call specialists answer calls 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
 
The 2-1-1 database has information on nearly 5,000 agencies and programs across the state. Each week 2-1-1 Maryland handles thousands of calls from people in need, providing referrals to services and helping people problem-solve when the services they need are not available.
 
Whether you are an individual looking for help for yourself, a friend or family member, or someone who works for an agency calling on behalf of someone you serve, we are here to help you find resources to help solve your problem. Call us by dialing 2-1-1 on your phone or explore the website and database. md211.org
 
 
 
Marijuana Risks
 
Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the Cannabis sativa or Cannabis indica plant. Marijuana is a psychoactive drug that contains close to 500 chemicals, including THC, a mind-altering compound that causes harmful health effects. People also smoke or eat different forms of marijuana extracts, which deliver a large amount of THC and can be potentially more dangerous.

Brain health: Marijuana can cause permanent IQ loss of as much as 8 points when people start using it at a young age. These IQ points do not come back, even after quitting marijuana.

Mental health: Studies link marijuana use to depression, anxiety, suicide planning, and psychotic episodes. It is not known, however, if marijuana use is the cause of these conditions.

Athletic Performance: Research shows that marijuana affects timing, movement, and coordination, which can harm athletic performance.

Driving: People who drive under the influence of marijuana can experience dangerous effects: slower reactions, lane weaving, decreased coordination, and difficulty reacting to signals and sounds on the road.

Daily life: Using marijuana can affect performance and how well people do in life. Research shows that people who use marijuana are more likely to have relationship problems, worse educational outcomes, lower career achievement, and reduced life satisfaction.

(Source: SAMHSA)
 
Know How to Spot the Signs of Addiction 

According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, here are some of the most common indicators of drug abuse:
  • Eyes that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
  • Frequent nosebleeds could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.  Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
  • Seizures without a history of epilepsy.
  • Deterioration in personal grooming or physical appearance.
  • Impaired coordination, injuries/accidents/bruises that they won’t or can’t tell you about-  they don’t know how they got hurt.
  • Unusual smells on breath, body, or clothing.
  • Shakes, tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.
  • Behavioral signs of alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Skipping class, declining grades, getting in trouble at school.
  • Drop in attendance and performance at work--loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise--decreased motivation.
  • Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates.
  • Missing money, valuables, prescription or prescription drugs, borrowing and stealing money.
  • Acting isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
  • Clashes with family values and beliefs.
  • Preoccupation with alcohol and drug-related lifestyle in music, clothing and posters.
  • Demanding more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact.
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
  • Using incense, perfume, air freshener to hide smell of smoke or drugs.
  • Using eyedrops to mask bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils.
  • Psychological warning signs of alcohol or drug abuse.
  • Unexplained, confusing change in personality and/or attitude.
  • Sudden mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing.
  • Periods of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
  • Lack of motivation; inability to focus, appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
  • Appears fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.
 
Opioids are powerful drugs.

Opioids are drugs that slow down the actions of the body, such as breathing and heartbeat. Opioids also affect the brain to increase pleasant feelings. 
 
People take opioids for medical reasons.

Doctors prescribe opioid medication to treat pain and sometimes for other health problems such as severe coughing. The medication comes in a pill, a liquid, or a wafer. It also comes in a patch worn on the skin. 
 
Examples of prescribed opioid medications include:

• Codeine—an ingredient in some cough syrups and in one Tylenol® product
• Hydrocodone—Vicodin®, Lortab®, or Lorcet®
• Oxycodone—Percocet®, OxyContin®, or Percodan®
• Hydromorphone—Dilaudid® • Morphine—MSContin®, MSIR®, Avinza®, or Kadian®
• Propoxyphene—Darvocet® or Darvon®
• Fentanyl—Duragesic®
• Methadone.
 
Learn more about our Behavioral Health Services, including addiction treatment and mental health counseling, here.
 
 
Heroin 

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants. Impure heroin is usually dissolved, diluted, and injected into the veins, muscles, or under the skin. A nationwide survey indicates that heroin users are attracted to the drug not only for the “high” but because it is less expensive and easier to get than prescription painkillers.


 
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The Maryland Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) showed that 7.4-percent of 12th graders in Worcester County had used heroin. In appealing to youth, the task force will emphasize the loss of decision making that comes with dependence and the ease of slipping into addiction. Lives are being lost every year, often in their prime, due to a lack of understanding of the problem. In 2014 alone there were 14 accidental overdose deaths in Worcester County, up from 6 the year before. Heroin and prescription opioids make up the majority of those deaths across the state as of 2014.
 
Maryland DHMH Overdose Statistics
 
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Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication that can be used to save a life in the event of an opiate overdose. The Health Department  offers Naloxone trainings for friends, family members and anyone that might come in contact with an opioid abuser. For more information on trainings call 410-213-0202. 

 

Need to Dispose of Expired Medications Safely? Find the Prescription Dropoff Box Closest to You by Clicking Below

 
 
 
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Funding provided by the Maryland Department of Health and SAMHSA.


 
 

Information