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Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Montgomery County will host a remembrance ceremony and candlelight vigil on Thursday, Aug. 31, in Downtown Rockville to memorialize lives lost to overdose and substance use. The event will commemorate “International Overdose Awareness Day,” a global event aimed at raising awareness of overdoses and reducing the stigma of drug-related deaths.

Across the U.S., overdose death rates continue to increase. More than 109,000 Americans lost their lives to overdose in 2022, an increase of approximately four percent and the second consecutive year of more than 100,000 overdose deaths.

The ceremony and vigil will be held at Memorial Plaza, located at 101 Monroe St. in Rockville (the terrace between the Montgomery County Executive Office Building and the County Circuit Court). There will be a memorial photo display on the plaza. Families and friends, with permission of the family, can submit a photo (only photos of the individual with no one else in the picture can be submitted) to be included in the display. For more information, including how to submit a photo, complete the online form.

The event will begin with a resource fair at 5 p.m. Ceremonies recognizing International Recovery Month will begin at 6:30 p.m.

“On Aug. 31 and every day, we remember the lives lost to overdose. They were our children, siblings, parents, neighbors and our friends,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Each life had purpose and a story to tell. Through remembrance and reflection, we stand in solidarity with those who have been personally affected by overdose.”

The resource fair will have information about local assistance and behavioral health resources including prevention, and mental health and substance use treatment providers. Registration is required for those interested in providing information at the resource fair. Email [email protected] by Aug. 25 to register for a table.

International Recovery Month is an international observance to celebrate recovery and encourage individuals with a mental health or substance use disorder to seek recovery. Purple has been adopted internationally to signify support throughout the month.

Throughout September, there will be social media messages emphasizing the message that behavioral health is essential to total health, that prevention works, that treatment is effective and that people recover. “Montgomery Goes Purple” is a coalition of County Government and school, nonprofit, faith and community organizations with a shared mission to prevent mental health and substance use related injury and death through education and resources.

Free parking is available in the jury parking lot located at the corner of East Jefferson and Monroe Streets.

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Release ID: 23-356
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 240-777-6534
Categories: Health