The annual awareness effort continues – scene from the 2018 campaign roll out. Source: Kent Goes Purple Facebook.

Kent County Sheriff John Price and Chestertown Rotary invite Kent County residents to stand up against substance abuse with Kent Goes Purple again this September.

Kent Goes Purple (KGP) is a substance abuse awareness and prevention initiative that empowers our youth and our community to ‘Go Purple’ as a sign of taking a stand against substance abuse. This is year three for the initiative, with a focus on education and virtual activities due to COVID-19.

“Kent Countians need to understand the sobering and alarming facts about the opioid crisis, and they need to have candid conversations with their family members, friends, and colleagues,” said Kent County Sheriff John Price. “That is what Kent Goes Purple is all about – to motivate people to ask questions and to learn more about the dangers of substance abuse, and to provide information about pertinent resources and assistance.”

This year’s initiative includes daily educational messages, which the community can share from the KGP Facebook page. These messages are intended to educate and encourage conversations about substance use prevention. Other ways to get involve include getting trained on Narcan; learning about the Good Samaritan Law; and learning about medication storage and disposal.

“Notwithstanding the public’s focus on the pandemic and other major social and economic issues, according to the CDC the scourge of opioid abuse remains at an epidemic level,” said Chestertown Rotary Club member Andy Meehan. “Accordingly, we believe that re-engaging the public on this issue is critical now more than ever.”

The community can again display purple lights and gear starting Sept. 1 and throughout the month as a show of taking a stand against substance abuse. Lights are available at JBK Hardware in Chestertown and Village Hardware in Rock Hall. KGP also will have free, 5” by 5” vehicle stickers available.

A virtual Narcan training with Kent County Behavioral Health Prevention Office also is planned – check the KGP Facebook for information. Narcan is a life-saving medication that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose.