BMX Racer/Olympic Coach Tony Hoffman to Lead Community Talk on Opioid Prevention Wednesday Night at Gaithersburg High School

by MCS Staff

The City’s Community Services Division, in partnership with the Montgomery County Goes Purple Initiative, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, and Montgomery County Public Schools, is hosting a parent & community talk focused on opioid prevention on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 6 p.m. at Gaithersburg High School, 101 Education Boulevard. The community talk will be led by Tony Hoffman, former professional BMX racer, U.S. Olympic coach, and person in long-term recovery. Hoffman has dedicated his life to bringing awareness around the country, describing how dangerous prescription pill and heroin abuse is and advocating for a shift in thinking towards current addiction-recovery processes. He will speak on teen mental health and substance use connections and resilience.

The event will also include the Community Opioid Prevention Education (COPE) Trailerand youth enrichment and support information through Identity, Inc. and the City. Interpretation support will be available in Spanish. Register for the free event here. In conjunction with the parent & community event, Hoffman will lead assemblies for middle and high school students throughout the week of March 6. A special session will also take place at The Landing, an adolescent recovery program located in Gaithersburg.

City Youth Services in partnership with the Gaithersburg Youth Opportunities Coalition will also host a Youth Voice Summit for middle & high school students on March 15, from 1 to 4 p.m., at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park. The summit will focus on opioid awareness and will feature guest speaker Deena Louden, who tragically lost her son to fentanyl poisoning in 2020. The program will also include a panel discussion with subject experts, a resource fair, prize drawing, and lunch. Student breakout groups will create public service announcements to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid use. Participating students will receive Student Service Learning (SSL) hours and a t-shirt.

The City is receiving close to $800,000 in funding over the next 18 years from the National Opioid Settlement agreement to combat opioid use and substance use disorder. The funding was made available in 2023, and will support programs on opioid education, prevention and treatment. The Opioid Abatement Fund Work Group includes City staff from Community, Neighborhood & Housing Services, Parks, Recreation & Culture, Finance, the Gaithersburg Police Department, and the Office of the City Attorney. The group will expand to include subject matter experts from the community. For more information, please call 301-258-6350.


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