‘Dorchester Goes Purple’ to fight opioid abuse

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Lucie Hughes spoke at a Dorchester Chamber of Commerce lunch on July 18. Ms. Hughes, who serves on the group’s Board of Directors, introduced the “Dorchester Goes Purple” anti-opioid abuse program.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Lucie Hughes spoke at a Dorchester Chamber of Commerce lunch on July 18. Ms. Hughes, who serves on the group’s Board of Directors, introduced the “Dorchester Goes Purple” anti-opioid abuse program.

CAMBRIDGE — People will see lots of color in the county next month, as “Dorchester Goes Purple” against opioid abuse. The hue symbolizes the struggle taking place across the country and locally, as individuals, families, health care providers and law enforcement face the growing crisis.

There have been several fatal overdoes so far this year in Dorchester, and many more non-fatal. But while drug abuse continues, so does hope.

“We are beyond excited about where this is going,” Lucie Hughes said on July 18, as she introduced the program at a Chamber of Commerce lunch. “We are going to make a difference.”

“Dorchester Goes Purple: Awareness Starts at Home is a community-based program to increase awareness of the drug addiction and opioid crisis that is tightening its grip on our society,” the program’s social media page says. “We are joining Talbot, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Caroline counties.”

Ms. Hughes, a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, spoke on behalf of Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble. She said the program has been successful there because it reached citizens of all backgrounds, it focused on education and awareness, and developed “tracks,” involving schools, churches, government agencies and more.

At the lunch, representatives from many fields — business, law enforcement, education and health among them — pledged their support for the effort. Individuals and organizations are urged to take up the cause in their own ways.

Innovation is encouraged. Ms. Hughes said in Talbot, “We were floored by the creativity of the people in the trenches,” she said.

Beginning today and through September, the Dorchester Banner will explore the topic with articles and photographs. The program’s office is at 528 Poplar St. in Cambridge, phone 410-228-3575, website is www.dorchestergoespurple.org.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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