Prince George's County, Maryland

Prince George’s County Health Department Hosts Overdose Prevention Roundtable

For Immediate Release: 8/23/2013 1:00 PM

Contact: Dellia Williams, Public Information Officer, 301-883-7835

The Prince George’s County Health Department (PGCHD) will host a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to present a local overdose prevention plan on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at South Bowie Public Library, 15301 Hall Road, Bowie, MD 20121 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 pm. 

“Drug overdose is a public health problem,” said Pamela Creekmur, Health Officer.  “By working collaboratively with our local leaders, federal and state partners, we can develop and implement a comprehensive plan that would have a broader reach and greater impact on addressing the growing public health concern for prescription drug abuse, misuse and overdose.” 

In January 2013, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) released the Maryland Opioid Overdose Prevention Plan, a statewide strategy for reducing overdose deaths related to pharmaceutical opioid analgesics (painkillers) and illicit opioid drugs, such as heroin.  In 2012, Maryland experienced a shift from pharmaceutical opioids to heroin, mirroring a trend being reported in other states.  The Maryland plan calls for a more comprehensive sharing of overdose-related data, analyzing trends in overdose and opioid abuse, expanding access to substance abuse treatment and recovery services, and clinical education and training for healthcare providers.  The plan also outlines adoption and implementation of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which monitors the prescribing and dispensing of opioids and other controlled substances, and makes comprehensive patient prescription history information available in real-time to healthcare providers that prescribe or dispense these drugs.   

Components of our local overdose prevention plan were derived from the collection and analysis of local data on opioid and heroin abuse, coupled with a local needs assessment that identified interventions specific to Prince George’s County.  The Health Department is committed to developing and implementing interventions aimed at reducing the number of drug overdoses. 

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene will open the roundtable with a presentation on the 2007-2012 Vital Statistics Intoxication Death Report and the Maryland Opioid Overdose Prevention Plan.  Dr. Gayle Jordan-Randolph, Deputy Secretary, DHMH will provide a review and analysis of the data, and Pamela Creekmur, Health Officer will present the county’s overdose prevention plan. 

This roundtable is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

For additional information about the overdose prevention roundtable please call Patricia Carolina at 301-883-7834.