Coalitions in Action: Cecil County Drug Free Community Coalition Hosts Impressive Drug Take Back Event!

 

The Cecil County Drug Free Community Coalition (CCDFCC) hosted a drug take back event in their community. Guests included the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Richard Baum, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Administration (HIDTA), Maryland State Government representatives and more! The event was a success, with over 1,600 youth and parents from the local community in attendance.

Close to 200 pounds of prescription drugs were collected, putting Cecil County’s total for 2017 drug take back events at 592 pounds. “The event was a challenge, but fulfilling! This is what Drug Free Coalitions are about – promoting the idea that no problem is out of reach when the power of collaboration is in play,” said Virgil Boysaw, Jr., CCDFCC Project Coordinator and CADCA Coalition Advisory Committee member. “After the drug take back event, Acting Director of the ONDCP, Richard Baum, took the time to meet with the CCDFCC in a roundtable discussion.”

Cecil County is in the northeast corner of Maryland and primarily rural, with almost 70 percent farmland. The county encompasses 346 square miles and is bisected by Interstate 95, a major artery for traffic between the Baltimore-Washington area and the Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey regions. It is often used for drug trafficking, increasing access to drugs within the county limits.

The Cecil County Drug Free Community Coalition (CCDFCC) was formed to impact the substance use challenges by creating partnerships and collaborations within the county. One such partnership was with the Elkton Police Department and the Cecil County Sheriff Office, which resulted in the CCDFCC, Cecil County Public Schools, Cecil County Health Department, Restore Church and Public Safety collaborating in the October 29, 2017 drug take back event.

With only three weeks to organize, the event was a huge success. Over 1,600 youth and parents attended the event, heard comments from all the dignitaries, and of course, enjoyed activities such as music, moon bounce, and sweets. First, everyone dutifully dropped off their unused prescription drugs to the awaiting officers on duty.

“The Cecil County Drug Free Communities Coalition envisions a drug-free Cecil County! The coalition promotes the idea that anyone that is willing can “be part of the solution.” The coalition has already created new partnerships with other coalitions and projects including the Opioid Misuse Prevention Program and the Cecil County Strategic Prevention Framework 2 Coalition,” said Boysaw, Jr. “The coalition’s project coordinator encourages all prevention professionals everywhere to always be ready to share their coalition’s story and do your reports!”