Harford County’s 13th Annual Drug Prevention Symposium Draws 300 Attendees




Famed Baltimore Colt Joe Ehrmann Delivers Inspirational Keynote Address


More than 300 individuals and 20 exhibitors from throughout Maryland participated in the 2017 Harford County Drug Prevention, Intervention and Treatment Symposium held June 22 at Bel Air High School.


The 13th annual drug symposium was hosted by Harford County Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy and featured keynote speaker Joe Ehrmann, co-founder of the InSide Out Initiative, an organization committed to transforming the win-at-all-costs sports culture. Ehrmann played professional football for the Baltimore Colts for 13 years. He was the recipient of the Colts Man of the Year Award, the first Ed Block Courage Award, and was named one of the 100 most influential sports educators in America by the Institute for International Sport.  Ehrmann captivated the crowd with his story, which included his personal struggles with addiction and self-esteem. He then encouraged the audience to transform their practices to help create a society where every man, woman and child can reach his or her greatest human potential.


An array of additional topics were covered at morning and afternoon workshops including Stigma and Practice Impact through an Ethics Lens; Social Anxiety in Kids, Teens and Young Adults; Digital Safety; the Maryland Opiate Overdose Response Program; How to Approach a Loved One About Their Addiction; Relapse Prevention – An Ethical Approach Based on Neuroscience of How the Brain Forms Habits; Keeping Tobacco, the Other Addiction, on the Radar; and Opiate Addiction, A Suggestion Prevention Approach.


The mission of Harford County’s annual symposium is to educate professionals and the public on issues surrounding drug and alcohol abuse. The conference is free, open to the public and offers continuing education credits for professionals in the fields of addiction and social work. Attendees benefit from learning the latest developments, approaches and techniques. The Symposium is held in partnership with the Harford County Health Department, Harford County Public Schools, and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office.


“The Symposium is an important component of Harford County’s awareness strategy,” said Joe Ryan, manager of the county Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy. “We deeply appreciate the tremendous support from our partners and everyone who attended. It is bittersweet to see so many individuals committed to helping families address addiction in our community.”


“The symposium was a great learning opportunity for professionals in Harford County. I walked away being trained in the implementation of Naloxone and having a much better understanding of how to start early prevention measures for adolescents to help them avoid drug and alcohol use,” said Bernard Hennigan, director of student services for Harford County Public Schools.


For more information on drug control programs and trainings in Harford County, contact the Harford County Department of Community Services’ Office of Drug Control Policy at 410-638-3333, or www.harfordcountymd.gov/services/drugcontrol.

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