Voices of Hope hosted the first of the Cecil County Recovery Town Hall series in Port Deposit on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. 19 people attended, with 3 from Port Deposit. There were no Town Administrators or Officials, no Cecil County treatment providers, no churches or organizations from Port Deposit present. The three people from Port Deposit in attendance represented recovery in the area. No families or individuals came seeking addiction treatment, support or requested Narcan training or medication.
Perhaps the low attendance was poor publicity on our part. We promoted on social media, through the newspapers and posted throughout the town. Or maybe this could be a positive indication of the health and wellness of this small town of 767 people (2016). However, Raymond Lynn, Cecil County Heroin Coordinator, presented statistics at the meeting that suggest caution. He said of the updated 600 overdoses in Cecil County in 2017, 80 were fatal. About 15% of the total were from the Port Deposit area. That percentage from Port Deposit is remaining the same so far in 2018. There has been a total 200 Cecil County overdoses and 20 fatal to date. Mr. Lynn also reported that the average age of the County’s overdoses this year is 22, from about age 35 last year. Sadly, 21 Cecil County children have lost a parent to overdose so far in 2018.
Those also in attendance were core Voices of Hope members: people in recovery, family members and recovery supporters of Cecil County. We ended the meeting by strengthening our resolve to keep working to bring recovery treatment and support to individuals and families struggling in Cecil County. Healing Hearts, the Overdose Death Grief Support Group, was present and talked about their mission. Mike Massuli, Clinical Director of the Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center at the Cecil County Health Department, presented resources and Narcan training for anyone interested. Also present was Maryland Circuit Court Judge Will Davis, Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Bessicks and Maryland House of Delegates candidate Jobeth Rocky Bowers. Thank you all for your support.
We hope that our next Recovery Town Hall in Cecilton on June 13 is also a success and more local resources represented. We appreciate the time and energy of all our Recovery Supporters. Cecil County is caught in an addiction epidemic, we will not lay down and let our community die easy. We will fight to save our families.