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Proposal: Opioid addiction in Cumberland

Let's consider the serious and fatal consequences of using opioids

The Issue

Problem Defined

The problem we are trying to solve is how to eliminate the drug and opioid epidemic in Cumberland, Maryland, what we can do to get people to stop using drugs, what programs we can set up to help people that want to get clean, and more.

Expand all bullets
Our Middle Atlantic region has a high prevalence of opioid deathsMORE

Heroin overdoses in Allegany County doubled from 2015 to 2016MORE

In 2007, there were 14 fatal overdoses in Allegany County. In 2018 as of October, there have been 19 fatal overdoses in Allegany County.

Nonfatal overdoses are becoming more commonMORE

In 2014, there were 210 nonfatal overdoses, 39% of which were opioid related, in Allegany County. In 2018 as of October, there have been 302 nonfatal overdoses, 64% of which were opioid related, in Allegany County. The use of opioids is becoming more popular and more overdoses are caused by opioids.

Youth in Allegany County have been exposed to prescription painkillers.MORE

A survey showed that 5.1% of middle school students reported using prescription pain killers that they weren't prescribed, or using them differently tan how the doctor advised them to. 15.2% of high school students reported the same thing.

Naloxone has been used by local medical professionals hundreds of timesMORE

Naloxone, which is used to treat narcotic overdoses, has been used 219 times on individuals in emergency situations. This is a very expensive process.

Using "gateway drugs" often makes a perosn more likely to develop an opioid addictionMORE

Gateway drugs include alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana. Those who use these are more likely to try more serious drugs such as opioids or heroin.

Go deeper
In Rural Maryland Counties, Communities Fight Back Against the Opioid Crisis

Brennen Jensen - (Invalid date)

This article talks about how rural communities in Maryland are dealing with drugs and how they are affecting these communities how much drugs have increased and more. This states facts about drug rates and more as well. 


We are freshmen at Allegany College of Maryland located in Cumberland, MD. We have grown up in Cumberland our entire lives and have seen this issue affect those around us. We hope to encourage our community as a whole to do more to prevent opioid addiction and find ways to minimize this epidemic.

Deborah Devedjian
Founder & Chief Citizens' Officer - TheChisel / More Perfect Union, Inc.
Born in Philadelphia, Deborah Devedjian has been a leader in the global Education and Training industry and an expert in corporate governance—creating, building, investing in, and transforming organizations. Long committed to education and inquiry as the basis for democracy, she weaves together more than 20 years of experiences in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors to maximize learning, collaborative decision-making, and stakeholder value. 

She’s served in founding or leadership positions with Copernicus Learning Ventures, Warburg Pincus, RoundTable Partners, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, and The Boston Consulting Group. Deborah has chaired or served on the executive committee of 20+ not-for-profit boards, including Polytechnic University; Marlboro College; Elwyn, Inc. (for the developmentally challenged); French-American Foundation; Pennsylvania-Russia Business Council; Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities; Harvard Business School Club of New York; and Yale Reunions.

She attended public schools, has a BA from Yale and MBA from Harvard, but her father still hopes she’ll go to med school. Fluent in French and Armenian. Amusing in German and Italian. Deborah’s day is not complete without a dose of the Rolling Stones, Beethoven, and Coltrane. Deborah is an independent (small "i"). Her patron saint is Ben Franklin. She excels at “herding cats,” according to one business school dean.
Brandi Hamilton
Student - Allegany College of Maryland
Kara Lashbaugh
Student - Allegany College of Maryland
Diane McMahon
Service Learning & Civic Engagement, Faculty Director; Associate Professor of Sociology - Allegany College of Maryland
Bayle Sturtz
Student - Allegany College of Maryland

The Solution

Proposed Actions
Expand all bullets
Creating ways for addicts to quit MORE

Ways we can get addicts to stop are we can have more rehab clinics for when people want or have to get clean and keep them until they are stable and can get a job and more, we can have something like AA groups where people can talk about their experiences and stuff when they used drugs, we can create better medicines to help these people transition off of pain killers that are addictive and more. 

Rehab clinicsMORE

Creating more rehab clinics would make people have more options to choose from. They can all have different types of programs for each person that enters a facility. They can have transitional programs for these people when they are done with the rehab program and more. 

AA meetingsMORE

Having AA meetings will give people the opportunity to experience what they have been through. having these group meetings will allow to come together and experience what others have done and also be able to have people relate to each other. these meetings can really help people stay on track with sobriety.

Better medicinesMORE

Having better medicines can be an alternative for people that are given pain killers. if we make medicines that can help with pain and not be addictive the drug rate in Cumberland would go down. having alternative drugs that wouldn't be addictive would be better so that people don't sell there pills to people to get high.

Increase funding MORE

Increasing local funding dedicated to helping addicts recover is very necessary given the epidemic that has been going on for years. It costs a lot of money to organize facilities and groups, as well as providing drugs like naloxone to reverse the effects of an overdose, so there would be better results if funding was increased for this issue specifically.

Expected Results
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Cumberland would be safer and healthierMORE

It would cost around $5 million to carry out this solution. This includes support groups, medical costs, the use of Narcan and similar substances, and rehab costs.

The Conversation

Cast your vote

The Proposal Opioid addiction in Cumberland needs your vote by September 27, 2019.
Time remaining: 9 months

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