Harford County to recognize National Overdose Awareness Day Aug. 31 by lowering flags; events planned for National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September

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Flags will be lowered in Harford County Aug. 31 to recognize National Overdose Awareness Day and events are scheduled throughout September, which is National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Here are the details provided by the Harford County government:

Harford County to Lower Flags Aug. 31 for National Overdose Awareness Day; September Events Planned to Celebrate Recovery Month

BEL AIR, Md., (Aug. 26, 2022) – Harford County will remember those lost to addiction by lowering flags on the last day of August and will celebrate recovery with events planned in September. 

County Executive Barry Glassman has ordered Harford County flags lowered from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, August 31, National Overdose Awareness Day, in honor of the many lives taken by overdose and addiction.

Throughout September, Harford County will shine a light on recovery and suicide prevention. September is National Recovery Month and Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. 

During the month, residents are invited to light their homes and businesses in purple, the color of recovery.

Purple lights will also illuminate the offices of Harford County government, Harford County Health Department, Harford County Office on Mental Health, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace police departments, Maryland State Police Barracks, and Harford County volunteer fire and EMS companies.

Local agencies have collaborated on a month-long social media campaign with inspirational recovery stories, treatment resources, and event information.

Citizens should keep an eye out for painted purple Recovery Rocks! placed around the county.  Images of found rocks or created rocks can be posted on social media with the hashtag #Harford4Recovery.

Several restaurants will be offering mocktails – cocktails without alcohol – to raise awareness and help individuals who prefer not to drink alcohol feel more included in restaurant settings.

Planned events aim to reduce stigmas about mental health and substance use disorder, share resources, and spread the word that no one is alone. Event organizers include Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, Harford County Health Department, Harford County Office on Mental Health, and mental health and recovery partners.

On Thursday, September 8, the Department of Community Services will host Helping Veterans in Crisis, a free training for those who work with individuals who have served in the military and their families. For more information and to register, visit www.harfordcountymd.gov/3454/Veterans-Crisis-Training.

On Friday, September 9, residents are encouraged to wear purple to show their support for those in recovery.

Also on September 9, Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air will hold a candlelight vigil from 6 to 8 p.m. to remember those who have lost their fight with addiction and to celebrate those in recovery.  No registration is required.

Harford County’s Fifth Annual Second Chance Job and Resource Fair will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 28 at the Epicenter in Aberdeen, offering life-changing opportunities for those who have been impacted by incarceration. The fair helps match employers and resources with individuals who are committed to rebuilding their lives.  For more information and to register, visit https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/2607/Second-Chance-Job-Resource-Fair.

Additional Recovery Month events are posted on the county website at https://www.harfordcountymd.gov/2960/September-is-Recovery-Month.

“I encourage everyone to join Harford County in celebrating Recovery Month this September,” County Executive Glassman said. “Even the simple act of wearing purple helps spread hope and fights the stigmas that often keep people from seeking treatment. Most importantly, anyone who needs immediate help can call 1-800-Next-Step. We want those who are struggling to know that help is available, and recovery is possible.”