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Local businessman leads efforts to stem opioid epidemic

  • Published in Local

H. David Meyers plays the oboe with 67 other musicians to raise funds in the fight against the opiod epidemic. PHOTO BY MIKE CLARKNORTH BETHESDA — H. David Meyers, a Rockville-based businessman turned on the local news one day and saw his secretary Carin Miller.

Miller, founder of the Maryland Heroin Awareness Advocates, was on television raising awareness for a cause that is personal to her – the opioid epidemic. While Meyers knew his secretary was an advocate, it was not until he saw her on television that he came up with an idea – to host a benefit concert for her organization.

On Tuesday, Meyer who is a classically-trained oboist along with 67 other musicians played a benefit concert at Strathmore Music Center to raise awareness for opioid and heroin addiction – something state, local and federal officials have called an epidemic. All proceeds from the concert will go to MHAA, which helps those addicted to opioids and heroin to seek treatment and promote awareness for the issue to combat the stigma of drug abuse.

“We have several fundraisers throughout the year, this is a grand event that I never would have thought would happen, but Mr. H. David Meyers was kind enough to host this beautiful concert for us,” Miller said.

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Theatrical work and panel discussion focus on MoCo’s opioid crisis

Peace Mountain Theatre Company is offering a double bill: a dramatic presentation and a panel discussion, both highlighting a dramatic and disturbing situation in Montgomery County as well as across the nation. 

The program, entitled “The Opioid Crisis: Not in My Backyard,” encompasses playwright Tom Kelly’s “The Empty Chair,” which takes place in a counseling center for recovering teens, after one of their peers has died of an overdose.

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County files suit against opioid manufacturers

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countysealROCKVILLE — Montgomery County is suing 14 manufactures and distributors of prescription opioids as part of the county’s efforts to combat the growing nationwide opioid addiction crisis, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) announced Wednesday. Attorneys filed the suit Wednesday in federal court because it is the most appropriate venue to address the devastating effect the opioid addiction crisis has had on the County.

“The opioid crisis is wreaking severe damage on individuals and communities throughout our great nation – and Montgomery County is not immune,” Leggett said. “Just ask the first responders in our Fire & Rescue Service and our Police. Ask our front-line personnel in Health & Human Services. We are talking about addiction, death, broken lives and broken families.”

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Unprofessional conduct in prescriptions

gavel2We have all heard about, and too many have experienced, the effects of the opioid epidemic in the United States. One way to combat improper writing of prescriptions in Maryland is for the State Board of Physicians to seek sanctions against physicians for unprofessional conduct. This process was explored by a recent unreported opinion from Maryland’s intermediate appellate court in a case called Walter Kozachuk v. Maryland State Board of Physicians.
 
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Opioid abuse on the upswing in Montgomery

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Opioid abuse in Montgomery County is “an equal opportunity” menace that has hit “businessmen, professionals, schoolteachers, nurses” and so many others, said Alejandra Munoz, the sole case manager for a County program aimed at getting drug users into treatment rather than a jail cell.

“I have middle to upper class [people] and those with low social economic status. I have two grandmothers,” she said of the users she tries to get into the program called STEER, which stands for Stop, Triage, Engage, Educate and Rehabilitate.

Opioid-related overdoses are increasing rapidly here. Last year, there were 154 nonfatal opioid-related overdoses, a whopping 175 percent increase from 2015. During that same period, there were 56 fatal overdoses, a 9 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, according to Cpt. Paul Liquorie, director of the County Police Department’s Special Investigations Division.

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