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May 12, 2022

Stand Together members attend national conference on harm reduction

Credit: Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — Garrett County Health Department representatives, State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch and other Stand Together Against Drug Abuse Consortium members attended the 2022 National Prescription Drug and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Ga., recently.

The summit covered multiple issues related to illicit drugs and misuse of prescription drugs, new methods of treatment, new Fentanyl threats in fake pills, new medications, applications of existing medications and research on various aspects of treatment.

Congressman David Trone was an invited speaker. He addressed the more than 3,500 attendees from across the country. Trone has a national reputation for leading the fight against drugs and for better and more effective treatment. His colleague, Congressman Hal Rogers, a Kentucky Republican, spoke about Trone as a recognized leader in Congress in the fight against drugs and one willing to work across party lines to get the job done. Many of the attendees recognized and appreciated Trone for his efforts in the fight against drugs.

Bob Stephens, Health Officer and Director of the Garrett County Health Department, also attended. He commented on the summit benefits to our local efforts to combat our drug problems.

“The opioid epidemic that was declared in 2017 shows no signs of waning nationally,” he said. “However, in Garrett County we have seen some progress in reducing the number of overdose deaths through prevention, treatment and recovery efforts by the many professionals and volunteers who have been working to ‘Stand Together against drug abuse.’”

The attendees came from many fields, including physicians, Emergency Department personnel, EMS and law enforcement, public health, mental health providers, persons in recovery, treatment providers and state and local officials.